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Touched by Sin

Chapter Text

Standing in a barren wasteland, all she could see was death.

Yuna was gazing at Bevelle, which was now in ruins. She wasn't sure how this came to be, but she was also wondering how she survived.

Then, she suddenly found herself in a place filled with chaos and destruction, where strange black creatures began killing innocent people around her. She wanted to fight the creatures and save the innocent, but how? She then noticed a little girl crying at the sight of her house burning to the ground. Wait, is that her younger self?

Without warning, Yuna found herself near a river of blood as a massive mound of black muck cluttered with doll faces and limbs rose out. She tried to get away, but then she found herself being dragged into the river by the massive creature. As the limbs started to rip her to pieces, she screamed in agony.

But just as it seemed that Yuna was about to die, she soon found herself standing before Sin.

Yuna quickly opened her eyes, and she figured out that what she saw was only a dream.

Well, she has only been experiencing these nightmares since last week. With each one, Yuna has been wondering if all of this was a vision of the future.

"Maybe if I become a summoner…" thought Yuna.

After breakfast, Yuna headed out into the village and took a moment to take in the scenery. It has been ten years since she arrived in Besaid, and she met some friendly faces such as Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri and Chappu, this was also the place where she reunited with her friend Patravi.

Well, she knew that if she became a summoner, she would have to go on a pilgrimage. But then, this would also mean that she would be putting her own life on the line. Then again, she still remembered that incident that happened the night before she was meant to leave before Besaid, which still haunted her. Maybe she can become a summoner just so she can put her past to rest? She soon snapped out of her thoughts as she found Kimahri near the entrance.

"Hey Kimahri," said Yuna, "I have thought of something."

"Yuna?" pondered Kimahri.

"Well, I've decided to become a summoner," continued Yuna, "and I may need some guardians. Maybe you could be one of my guardians?"

"Are you sure you want to be a summoner?" asked Kimahri.

"I'm sure," answered Yuna.

"Even when Sin gave you warnings of danger?"

Yuna nodded.

Without saying anything, Kimahri pulled out a staff, and handed it to Yuna. The only thing that interested her was that the staff had Sin's symbol in the orb.

"Sin asked me to give this to you should you take on dangerous task," explained Kimahri.

"Well, thanks."

Later on in the day, Yuna and Kimahri confronted Patravi, Wakka and Lulu about the decision to go on a pilgrimage. It took quite a while until Wakka, Lulu and Patravi agreed to become her guardians. The following morning, Yuna began her training to become a summoner. Over time, she practiced performing the sending, and she even practiced casting some basic magic skills with supervision from Lulu.

After a few weeks, Yuna, Patravi, Wakka, Lulu and Kimahri entered the Cloister of Trials in the temple. They started in one chamber that seemed to be a dead end. However, Yuna noticed that there was a glyph on the end as she approached it to activate it. It then revealed another glyph on the other wall. When she examined it, it revealed some stairs. This propelled them to descend the stairs and come across a Glyph Sphere along the wall. Patravi removed the sphere from the overhang as Yuna led her guardians to the door. Patravi inserted the sphere into the slot, which opened the door. After that, they meandered through the hallway until they came across a pedestal on one side of the hall and some runes across the pedestal. Kimahri touched the runes, which revealed a glyph, and soon, a hidden chamber was open. Inside, a Besaid Sphere was residing in its recess. Yuna extracted it before placing it onto the pedestal. When that happened, the wall disintegrated. Then, Yuna and Patravi pushed the pedestal further into the hall until it locked into a slot on the floor and sank in.

"I hope you know what you're doing," sighed Patravi.

As an elevator platform was revealed, Yuna and her guardians moved onto it. It wasn't long before it descended into the antechamber, where the Chamber of Fayth awaited. Yuna started ascending the stairs, only to notice that her guardians were staying at the bottom.

"Aren't you coming?" asked Yuna.

"Sorry, Yuna," responded Patravi, "you're on your own on this one."


"We can't go in the chamber with you," explained Wakka, "that's taboo!"

"I see…" sighed Yuna.

It turns out that Yuna had no choice as she entered the chamber on her own. Inside, she came across a vivid spring in the center. As Yuna approached it, the Esper, Valefor, emerged from the spring.

"Yuna," asked Valefor, "is that you?"

Yuna nodded.

"Why do you desire to become a summoner?" Valefor demanded.

"I promised my sister that I would avenge her after she was raped," explained Yuna, "and I figured that since Yevon refused to listen to her, I could become a summoner and bring the culprit to justice myself."

"I see," sighed Valefor, "perhaps Sin was right. You might have the potential to save Spira's future."

Yuna raised her eyebrows in curiosity.

"Forget that I said that," continued Valefor, "if you insist on becoming a summoner, then you might have to accomplish this one trial that Sin has arranged for you."

"Sin?" gasped Yuna.

"Sin requested that I have you face this trial in the event you decide to become a summoner," asked Valefor, "are you ready for it?"

Yuna didn't say anything as she thought over the offer for a moment.

"I'm ready," said Yuna.

"Very well," replied Valefor, "before we begin, you might need this to help you in the trial."

Valefor summoned a turquoise blade and handed it to Yuna. As she examined the blade carefully, she noticed that Valefor's eyes started glowing and she felt a little light-headed.

The next thing she knew, Yuna found herself in a deserted valley. She wandered through the valley, determined to find out the objective of the trial. Without warning, she was ambushed by evil creatures that spawned from the lethal muck scattered throughout the valley. Figuring that the blade in her hand might be useful, Yuna began fighting the monstrous creatures. With each slash of the blade, blood spurted all over the place.

After Yuna managed to eliminate a single horde of these creatures, she noticed that there were a few more hordes to take out. Well, it took a long while for her to finish the job. With all of the hordes of monstrous creatures eliminated, a tunnel was revealed.

Curious of what might be waiting, Yuna ventured through the tunnel until she found herself in some sort of large chamber. Ahead, a massive creature emerged from the ground. Like the creatures she fought in the valley, this one seemed familiar.

"Wait a minute," thought Yuna, "are those the Ruin?"

Yuna now remembered seeing the Ruin back in Bevelle ten years ago. Without hesitation, Yuna charged at the Menacing Ruin, but the small arms made it difficult. Without warning, the Menacing Ruin pulled out a ball of a burning substance and flung it at Yuna, forcing her to dodge it. The Menacing Ruin kept throwing a few more balls of burning substance at Yuna. Without thinking, Yuna pulled out Sin's Eyestaff and deflected one of the balls of burning substance, which destroyed the creature's small arms. Realizing that she has the upper hand against the creature, Yuna cast a Thunder spell which Lulu taught her, which made short work of the creature.

After that, Yuna suddenly found herself in the Chamber of Fayth, standing before Valefor.

"You have passed the trial," said Valefor, "you can now become a summoner. However, there is a chance that Sin might confront you on your decision later."

Valefor then summoned a sphere of energy before disappearing back into the spring. Yuna touched it and it merged with her. Her face lit up as she headed for the door and emerged from the chamber, where Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri and Patravi were waiting.

"I've done it," announced Yuna, "I have become a summoner!"

Soon, Yuna and her guardians came out of the temple, to find that they were greeted by the entire population of the island. She headed out into village square, ready to demonstrate her new abilities.

"You ready?" asked Wakka.

Yuna nodded.

Yuna then performed an intricate dance that soon summoned Valefor, who arrived at the village of Besaid. As Yuna went up to stroke Valefor's beak, she smiled at her; which told her that she knew exactly what she was doing. With a nod, Valefor flew off.

Later that evening, the villagers held a celebration feast. While Yuna received a cup of tea from one of the elderly ladies, Patravi walked up to Wakka and the Besaid Aurochs.

"So," said Patravi, "are you guys going with us?"

"Yeah," replied Letty, "the Blitzball tournament's coming up this year."

"So what's our goal?" asked Patravi.

"To do our best," answered the Aurochs.

"Uh," replied Patravi, "that's not enough. We haven't even won a single tournament for ten years, haven't we?"

"Don't remind me," said Wakka.

"Well," continued Patravi, "I have a better goal. This time, it's victory! This time, we play to win, and beat every opposing team, and bring that Crystal Cup to the island!"

There was a moment of silence as the Aurochs glanced at each other while their smiles lit up at the same time.

"Victory," cheered the Aurochs, "victory, victory, victory, yeah!"

Soon, the village priest arrived and all of the villagers sat down in a circle, including Yuna, Wakka, Patravi, Lulu and Kimahri.

"Good evening, everyone," said the priest, "let us end this feast with the tale passed down by our ancestors."

Everyone gazed at the priest.

"Once in a time when Spira was young," preached the priest, "there lived a mighty god. This god was bestowed with power beyond any mortal. With this power, he maintained the balance of life that existed in Spira. All of life has flourished thanks to this god. But one day, a calamity arrived to Spira within centuries, within millennia, and threatened to destroy all. The mighty god rose to the challenge, and fought the calamity in a dangerous battle. Days went by, and the god has won, but he grew exhausted, so he took to slumber within the earth. In his wake, his loyal servants, the Espers, took his place and continued the god's duty, and the balance of life continued. To this day, the Espers await the time when the mighty God of Balance will return to Spira."

Yuna remembered this tale to heart since coming to Besaid, and she felt happy to hear it again. At the same time, she wondered if she will ever get to meet this god.

After the night celebration, Yuna and her guardians went to bed to rest up for the night.

The following morning, after breakfast, Yuna grabbed the turquoise blade and the Eyestaff before heading out into the village square, knowing that this is the day that she begins her Pilgrimage. She noticed that her guardians were waiting for her, while Wakka gave Patravi a blue sword.

"Uh, Wakka," queried Patravi, "didn't this sword belong to Chappu?"

"Well," answered Wakka, "he never used it."

"Does his death still bother you?" asked Patravi.

Wakka nodded. Yuna then approached Patravi, which caught her attention.

"Oh," chirped Patravi, "hi Yuna. Are you ready to start the pilgrimage?"

"Yes," replied Yuna.

"Awesome!" cheered Patravi.

As Yuna and her guardians left the village, they came across some fiends. One of these was a Dingo, and Patravi slashed at it with her sword.

"Take that!" taunted Patravi.

Soon, a Condor flew in.

"A flyer?" gabbed Wakka, "my kind of customer!"

Wakka whacked the Condor with his Blitzball, killing it. It wasn't long before a Water Flan appeared.

"That looks like trouble…" uttered Wakka.

"I'll handle it," declared Yuna.

"Do you remember the spells that I taught you?" reminded Lulu.

"I do," answered Yuna.

Yuna remembered her magic lessons from Lulu. She learned the basics of the elements and how to use them as she cast a Thunder spell at the Water Flan, which killed it within an instant.

"You know what?" commented Patravi, "you'd make a better black mage than Lulu would!"

"Excuse me?" barked Lulu.

The rest of the journey to the beach was pretty much a frazzle. Soon, Kimahri joined up with the group as they arrived at the beach.

"There you are, Kimahri," demanded Patravi, "where were you this morning?"

Kimahri didn't answer. Yuna and her guardians continued towards the boat, and most of the villagers were standing before the dock.

"We'll miss Lady Yuna," said a little girl, "come back soon, ok?"

"Don't worry," replied Patravi, "we'll be back soon enough!"

After saying goodbye to the villagers, Yuna and her guardians boarded the S.S. Liki, and the Aurochs came along as well. It wasn't long before the boat pulled away from the dock as Yuna performed the prayer of Yevon before the villagers.


Chapter Text

So far, the trip to Kilika Island was pretty tranquil. Yuna has been standing on the bow for a long while as she thought about what she is getting herself into. The long silence was soon broken when Patravi came on the bow.

"Hey, Yuna," sang Patravi, "what's up?"

"Well," chuckled Yuna, "the wind is nice today."

"I agree," commented Patravi, "I'm rather surprised that you decided to become a summoner just like your dad."

"Well," replied Yuna, "your father was my father's guardian, wasn't he; you know, Sir Auron?"

Patravi laughed.


"It's kinda funny that you still remember my dad," said Patravi, "despite having not seen him for a few years. It feels like this meeting is the blessing of Yevon or something."

"Well," frowned Yuna, "Yevon did not save my family from the fire."

"Wait," proclaimed Patravi, "did you mean that fire from 10 years ago?"

Yuna nodded.

"I see…" sighed Patravi.

Suddenly, everyone on the S.S. Liki felt a rumble from the ocean floor as massive waves started building up, sending the ship into chaos.

"Earthquake!" shouted a sailor.

"An earthquake in the middle of the ocean?" thought Yuna.

"I have a bad feeling about this…" muttered Patravi.

Everyone on board, including Yuna, her guardians and the Aurochs, struggled to hold on as the waves continued to tumble the ship. Suddenly, one massive wave formed, which threatened to turn over the ship underwater. Yuna lost her grip on the crossbow and was falling towards the sea.

"Yuna!" shouted Patravi in panic.

Yuna managed to grab the side railing with her hands, but she was barely hanging on. The massive wave was about to destroy the ship when Yuna suddenly heard the familiar growl that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind. Not a second after that, Sin rose out of the ocean and nudged the ship through the wave and it landed on the surface of the water, with no damage inflicted. Yet, many sailors gaped in shock.

"Sin!" shouted a sailor.

As Sin backed off from the boat, Yuna climbed back onto the deck while everyone else on board scrambled outside and gazed at Sin.

"Sin must've saved us," cheered Wakka.

"Was that me," pondered Lulu, "or did Sin sense this coming danger?"

"Man," jabbered Wakka, "that sure was one nasty earthquake we had, ya? I guess our worst is over."

"Not yet," objected Patravi, "we have that tsunami to worry about."

Everyone onboard gaped in horror after hearing Patravi's warning.

"Oh shit…" muttered Wakka.

Yuna glanced at Sin, who turned his face ahead, while his eyes turned yellow.

Meanwhile, the residents in Kilika Port were attempting to get back to their business after the earthquake startled them. It wasn't long before a few of them noticed the receding water. Not a minute later, a shadow crept over the port, prompting everyone to make a glance at a massive wave coming from the sea.

Soon, the residents scurried towards the coast in a panic as the tsunami was closing in. It wasn't long before the tsunami smashed into the wooden settlements, taking some unfortunate victims along with it in their bloody deaths. There were actually a few waves that came in the tsunami as they repeatedly smashed the wooden huts to smithereens as the residents fled for safety.

After a long while, the S.S. Liki arrived in Kilika with Sin tagging along. Everyone onboard gaped in horror at the sight of the destruction that took place around an hour ago. Yuna stood on the bow as she faced the island with determination. As the boat made it into the docks, Yuna and her guardians disembarked, and they soon came across a middle-aged couple.

"Greetings," said Yuna, "I am summoner Yuna from the Isle of Besaid. If there is no other summoner here, please allow me to perform the sending."

"Thanks be to ye," praised the middle-aged man.

"Our loved ones," added the middle-aged woman, "they could become fiends at any time!"

"Please take me to them," requested Yuna.

As the middle-aged couple guided Yuna through the damaged docks, she passed by some survivors with gruesome conditions. One survivor had a wooden splinter the size of a pencil gouged in his right eye. Another survivor with an even larger splinter stabbed through his left arm. Another survivor, a little girl, was crying in pain with a nasty compound bone fracture on her right leg; they were all trapped in the rubble. These sights made Yuna cringe on the inside; it wouldn't be nice at all if she had the same inflictions as they did. Fortunately, there were some people who helped some of these survivors out of the rubble. She made a quick glance at Sin, who was still in Kilika.

When they reached the quays, Yuna noticed corpses wrapped in caskets floating in the shallow waters. Patravi also made an observation with the floating caskets.

"Corpses bobbing in the sea!" sang Patravi.

The villagers instantly gaped in disgust while glaring at Patravi. Lulu was also annoyed as she elbowed her in the side.

"Hey!" complained Patravi, "what was that for?"

"That wasn't called for, Patravi," scolded Lulu, "these villagers have suffered a grave tragedy, and there's no excuse for you to tease them about it!"

"I was just joking!" protested Patravi.

After taking off her boots, Yuna took a step on the water, with the Eyestaff in her hand. To her amazement, she was now walking on the surface of the shallow water. Could something have given her this ability? As she walked towards the center of the casket circle, she started her dance, while accordingly waving around her staff. As she continued, pyreflies emerged, the lights on the dock turned blue, and she was now spinning on top of a spontaneous geyser of water.

Yuna continued to dance on the geyser while twirling around her staff, and after what felt like a blur, she completed the sending. She stepped back onto the pier, where Lulu was waiting.

"I-I hope I did ok," whispered Yuna.

"You did very well," replied Lulu, "they've reached the Farplane by now."

Later that evening, Yuna and her guardians found an inn still standing, and the innkeepers were kind enough to let them rest for the night. However, Yuna chose to stand outside as she gazed out into the distance. She was still confident in becoming a summoner despite the incident and is now wondering how the rest of Spira will take the news.

Yuna quickly snapped out of her thoughts when she suddenly noticed a little girl crying while trapped on a ruined hut. Suddenly, the hut was about to collapse into the sea, threatening to take the little girl along with it. Yuna wasted no time as she jumped in and pulled the girl out to safety just as the hut collapsed.

"Thanks," chirped the little girl.

Yuna smiled in relief as the girl headed for wherever her home might be. Unfortunately, that relief didn't last long as a swarm of Insidious Ruin began emerging from the ground. Yuna quickly pulled out her blade and started fighting the creatures. She hoped that she could take out the swarm within a brief moment, but more Insidious Ruin keep emerging from the ground. Just then, Valefor swooped in and made short work of the swarm.

"Thank you, Valefor," said Yuna, "but what are the Ruin doing here?"

"The Ruin spawn wherever disaster strikes," explained Valefor.

"Is Sin still here?" asked Yuna.

"Yes," answered Valefor, "shortly after the incident, he sent us to keep an eye out for the Ruin. Why do you ask?"

"You said that Sin might confront me on becoming a summoner, right?" said Yuna.

"That's true," sighed Valefor, "and he's requesting your presence."

"Well, ok," replied Yuna.

The next thing she knew, Valefor led Yuna to the coast of Kilika, where Sin is gazing into the distance. Maybe he's keeping an eye out for any further danger? Yuna waited for a moment until Sin turned his glance at Yuna.

{So you have shown up,} he said.

"I guess," nodded Yuna.

{Are you aware of what you are getting yourself into?} asked Sin.

"Does this have to do with the pilgrimage?" queried Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{You do realize that a pilgrimage is dangerous, true?} said Sin.

"I do," answered Yuna.

{I understand that the past still troubles you,} continued Sin, {but you don't have to put your life in danger if you don't want to.}

"Are you saying that I shouldn't have become a summoner?" asked Yuna.

Sin shook his head.

{Actually, I knew that this day would come,} said Sin, {even if you insist on beginning your pilgrimage, I can still protect you if necessary. I'm sure your father would've wanted you to survive.}

Yuna felt a chill in her spine the instant she realized that Sin referred to Braska. At the same time, she felt a sense of relief, knowing that Sin isn't angry with her.

"Thanks," smiled Yuna.

{You may go now.}

Yuna then returned to the inn in Kilika to rest for the night.

The next morning, after breakfast, Yuna emerged outside from the inn. There were plenty of villagers working on fixing the dock from the damage inflicted by the tsunami from yesterday. Even the Aurochs were involved with repairing the dock and Wakka was supervising them until he noticed Yuna.

"Ah," smiled Wakka, "there you are, Yuna!"

He then turned to the Aurochs.

"Besaid Aurochs, huddle!" commanded Wakka.

The Aurochs jumped off the rubble and joined up with Wakka.

"On to the temple," continued Wakka, "where we pray for victory!"

The Aurochs nodded in agreement as they headed towards the coast of Kilika.

"So you're going to play in the Blitzball tournament?" asked Yuna.

"Ya," answered Wakka, "but after the tournament, I become a full-time guardian."

"Ok, but where are the others?" asked Yuna.

"They're waiting for us in the woods there," replied Wakka, "let's go!"

Wakka and Yuna then headed towards the coast of Kilika, heading towards the woods. Soon, they joined up with Lulu, Kimahri and Patravi, who were waiting in Kilika Woods.

"Sorry for keeping you guys waiting," said Wakka, "I had to wait for Yuna to wake up, ya?"

"That's ok," replied Patravi, "I was just telling a joke to Lulu and Kimahri. Do you guys wanna hear it?"

"I don't care if you call it a joke," barked Wakka, "it's not funny!"

"I agree with Wakka," replied Lulu.

"Well, I wouldn't mind hearing it," said Yuna.

"Ok then," replied Patravi, "Summoner Ohalland used to live in Kilika Temple, right? Well, I'll bet he sometimes came here in the woods to masturbate."

Wakka instantly gaped in disgust. However, Yuna burst into laughter, much to Wakka and Lulu's disbelief.

"Yuna?" exclaimed Lulu.

"Sorry," giggled Yuna, "I couldn't resist."

As she started calming down, Yuna glanced at Kimahri.

"Temple is waiting up ahead," he said.

Chapter Text

As Yuna and her guardians began to take a step further into the woods, the Besaid Aurochs joined them. While traveling through the woods, Wakka made himself handy by whacking the Killer Bees with his Blitzball. Lulu doused Yellow Elements passing by with her Water spells, and Yuna would occasionally freeze any Killer Bees that dodged Wakka's attacks with her Blizzard spells. Patravi would often spill bloody guts whenever she struck a Dinonix with her sword. Yuna also found some use of herself by burning Ragoras with her Fire spells after Kimahri learned its Seed Cannon by performing a Lancet on one of them. Soon, they started to ascend the stairs that lead to the temple.

"These stone steps have a history, you know," said Wakka, "yep, Lord Ohalland trained here at his peak."

Yuna could hear Letty and Datto chuckling.

"Are you challenging me to a race?" asked Patravi.

Letty and Datto chuckled even louder as they and Wakka lined up.

"Ok then," affirmed Patravi, "I accept your challenge!"

Patravi got in line as well.

"Yuna," said Wakka, "if you would."

Yuna decided to go along with their race challenge, taking role as a referee as she raised her arm.


Yuna felt too energetic to stand by, so she started speeding up the next flight of stairs, causing Wakka, Datto, Patravi and Letty to dash in pursuit. While racing up the stairs, Yuna felt happy and even excited, until…

"Look out!" cried Datto.

To her surprise, there was a massive black parasitic monster at the platform at the base of the next flight of stairs. It resembled some sort of massive worm with stumpy legs at its base and had doll heads dotted around its body and was also embellished with some mechanical parts. Lulu, Wakka, Kimahri and Patravi charged at it immediately, only to find that battling it is very tricky. Patravi and Kimahri attempted to slash at the monster, but it turns out that it is made out of goo. Lulu cast her elemental spells, but it wasn't enough against the monster.

To add insult to injury, the monster pursued Patravi, and she couldn't outrun it as it caught her. Patravi struggled to free herself as the monster tried to swallow her. To her surprise, it suddenly dropped her, but she sustained a few gashes.

"Patravi," called Wakka, "are you ok?"

"Yeah," replied Patravi, "but how do you beat this thing?"

"Don't ask me!" said Wakka.

Yuna pulled out the Eyestaff, and she noticed that the orb started to glow as if it was storing up energy. She aimed the Eyestaff at the monster, and with just enough concentration, the Eyestaff fired a powerful beam of energy at the monster, which destroyed a couple of the doll heads on its body. Yuna's face lit up, now that she figured out how to fight this Ruin creature.

"Everyone," called Yuna, "I know what to do; take out the heads first!"

"Good advice," replied Kimahri.

Kimahri swung his spear at the monster and took out another doll head, which soon gave Patravi, Wakka and Lulu the same idea. Wakka knocked out the rest of the doll heads with his Blitzball. Without warning, the monster revealed three pipes and began charging at the party as it spewed out fire. However, Yuna managed to stop the Ruin creature by firing another beam of energy at the monster, which finished it off.

"That was the strangest fiend that I've ever seen!" commented Wakka, "where did this one come from, anyways?"

"I don't think there was any tale in Spira that talked about this creature," replied Lulu.

"Well," objected Patravi, "someone must know about it. That thing looked colossal!"

Kimahri glanced at Yuna.

"Yuna," asked Kimahri, "do you know?"

"I've seen similar creatures like this one before," explained Yuna, "according to Sin, they are called the Ruin. They usually spawn from places that are struck by disaster. That's all I know."

"Interesting," breathed Lulu.

Yuna and her guardians continued their trek to the temple. Before long, they arrived at the forecourt, where they came across the Luca Goers, who just came out of the temple.

"You here to pray for victory too?" asked Wakka.

"Who needs to pray?" scoffed Bickson, "the Luca Goers always win! So what's your goal this time? Are you gonna 'do your best' again?

"Not this time, you asshole!" barked Patravi, "we're playing to win!"

"Ooh," commented Bickson, "such naughty words from a little girl like you."

Bickson and his teammates then sauntered off as Patravi stuck her tongue out at them.

"See you in the finals!" hollered Wakka.

As Yuna and her guardians enter the temple, they came across another summoner with only one guardian.

"A summoner," said the summoner, "are you?"

"My name is Yuna," admitted Yuna, "from the Isle of Besaid."

"I'm Dona," replied the summoner, "you must be the daughter of High Summoner Braska? That's quite a name to live up to. And these people are your guardians? Braska only had two. I am in need of only one guardian, right, Barthello?"

"I have as many guardians as I have friends," objected Yuna, "I trust them all with my life. It is as much of a joy and an honor as being the daughter of a High Summoner."

"Do what you want," smirked Dona, "Barthello, we're leaving."

Dona and Barthello left the temple in a heartbeat.

"Sounds like we've got some competition," commented Patravi.

"Let's go," interrupted Yuna.

Yuna led her guardians up into the Cloister of Trials while the Aurochs stayed behind to pray for their victory. They had to step onto the elevator which brought them down into a lower level, which led to a door to the Trials. At the beginning of the Trials, Yuna took a Kilika Sphere from a nearby pedestal and placed it in the slot next to the overhead door, which caused the door to burst into flames.

Seeing these flames made Yuna cringe as it reminded her of the fire from ten years ago. Patravi removed the sphere while Yuna was reminiscing her past, which extinguished the blaze. The next thing that Patravi did was placing the Kilika Sphere into the slot on the north wall, which revealed a Glyph. While Lulu removed the Kilika Sphere to set it aside on one of the side walls, Yuna touched the glyph, causing the wall to slide open. As Yuna and her guardians proceeded into the fiery chamber, Patravi stepped onto the floor switch on the right, which teleported the pedestal from the previous room, while Kimahri was holding a Glyph sphere.

Yuna took a Kilika Sphere from the right wall and placed it into the pedestal. As she pushed the pedestal towards the floor switch, Kimahri placed the Glyph Sphere into the empty slot at the right wall, which revealed a secret room. After the pedestal locked into the floor switch, a section of the platform dropped, extinguishing the flame. Kimahri took out a Destruction Sphere from the secret room and placed it in a slot beneath the ledge, revealing a small chamber as he obtained an armlet from a treasure chest. Yuna moved the Kilika Sphere to the slot next to the exit door, and removed it after the sphere destroyed the door. Soon, the Trials were complete as Yuna led her guardians through the exit into the antechamber.

"This is your next visit," said Patravi, "right?"

Yuna nodded as she entered the chamber. Inside, she came across another vivid spring just like the one in the Chamber of Fayth in Besaid. This time, Ifrit came out.

"So," said Ifrit, "you must be the daughter of Lord Braska?"

"Yes," replied Yuna, "does anyone else in Spira know of the Ruin?"

Ifrit shook his head.

"Not many people in Spira are aware of the existence of the Ruin," said Ifrit, "they do not show themselves that easily, but recently these monstrous creatures are appearing more frequently."

"Well," replied Yuna, "we were ambushed by this one Ruin creature on our way here. One of my guardians described it as colossal. Luckily, we figured out how to destroy it."

"That creature is a Colossal Ruin," explained Ifrit, "but there are even more of them."

"I see…" sighed Yuna.

Ifrit then summoned a sphere of energy before disappearing back into the spring. Yuna touched it, which merged with her. After that, she emerged from the chamber and led her guardians out of the temple. The trek back to Kilika Port felt like a breeze, and before long, they were at the pier, where the S.S. Winno was waiting.

"All right," smiled Wakka, "off to Luca at last!"

Yuna and her guardians boarded the ship, along with the Besaid Aurochs, the Luca Goers and the Kilika Beasts. It wasn't long before the S.S. Winno left the pier and departed Kilika.

During the ride on the S.S. Winno, Yuna got a restful sleep. As the sun came up, the boat was already arriving at Luca. Yuna stood on the bow as she observed the bustling boats at the coast of Luca as the boat headed for Dock 2. The Kilika Beasts, the Besaid Aurochs and the Luca Goers made their bustling appearance as they disembarked. Yuna and her guardians also disembarked as they headed out of Dock 2. It wasn't long before they heard that Maester Mika was arriving at Dock 3.

"So," suggested Patravi, "how about we pay the Maester a visit?"

Yuna and her guardians then headed on over to dock 3, where they observed a huge vessel that had Yevon symbols on its sails. Soon, the band started playing as a Guado with long blue hair began to disembark, accompanied by Nero Guado, whom Yuna instantly recognized right off the bat.

"It's Nero!" thought Yuna, "what is he doing here?"

"That's a Guado," said a civilian, "right?"

"Who could it be?" pondered another civilian.

"Isn't that Maester Seymour?" assumed another civilian.

Seymour soon turned towards the ship and performed the Yevon bow, as well as the entire crowd, as Maester Mika began disembarking the vessel.

"People of Spira," announced Mika, "I thank you for your generous welcome. Rise, Maester Seymour, and all of you as well. I present to you the son of Maester Jyscal Guado, who departed for the Farplane a fortnight past."

The crowd rose up on their feet.

"Of course," continued Mika, "as some of you already know, he has been officially ordained as a Maester of Yevon."

"I am honored to receive the title of Maester," smiled Seymour, "in life, my father Jyscal worked to foster friendship between man and Guado. I vow to carry on his legacy, and to fulfill my duties as maester to the best of my abilities."

As the crowd gave the Yevon bow, Seymour, Nero and Mika headed out of the docks while Yuna secretly gave Nero the stink-eye.

"Is something the matter, Yuna?" asked Patravi.

"What is Nero doing here?" inquired Yuna.

"I'm not sure," answered Patravi, "but I do know that Nero is Seymour's uncle."


Patravi nodded.

"All right," declared Wakka, "last meeting before the match! Hustle!"

Wakka soon led the Aurochs out of the docks, heading for the stadium. Yuna, Patravi, Lulu and Kimahri also headed inland. Lulu headed for the Aurochs' locker room while Yuna, Kimahri and Patravi began meandering through the streets of Luca.

Chapter Text

Yuna, Kimahri and Patravi were watching the sphere screen while in a café in Luca.

"All right, ladies and gentlemen," said the announcer, "we are only several minutes away before the opening tournament of the season. This event is sponsored by Yevon and this year, we celebrate Maester Mika's 50th year in office! Now let's see what's new with our teams."

"Go ahead, Bobba," replied another announcer.

"All right then," continued Bobba, "all the way from Kilika, it's the Kilika Beasts! I heard that their home was recently attacked by Sin…"

"Oh, bullshit!" barked Patravi, "Kilika was already in ruins when Sin arrived."

"Watch your mouth, kid," replied a voice, "Yevon would have your tongues for that language."

Yuna, Kimahri and Patravi turned their faces until they laid their eyes on a man carrying a backpack.

"Who are you?" asked Yuna.

"Well then, allow me to introduce myself," replied the man, "I am O'aka XXIII, merchant extraordinaire!"

"Oh," chirped Patravi, "so you sell rare items?"

"Yeah," replied O'aka, "but I'm not that well known, yet."

"Well," asked Yuna, "do you have anything available?"

"Nothing at the moment," answered O'aka, "but maybe I'll find something useful for you fellas, but not for free."

"Ok, see you later," replied Patravi.

O'aka nodded, and then he left the café. Just then, Kimahri laid his eyes on two Ronso, which caught Patravi's attention.

"Hey Kimahri," asked Patravi, "are those your friends?"

Without saying anything, Kimahri approached the Ronso, which caught their attention.

"Oh," taunted the brown-haired Ronso, "it's Kimahri! Why not talk, Kimahri? Not seen Yenke for ten years! Kimahri forget Yenke? Forget Biran?"

"Leave Kimahri, Yenke," added Biran, "Kimahri is small Ronso. Kimahri so small can't see Yenke and Biran's faces!"

Yenke and Biran then started laughing at Kimahri. This sparked Kimahri's anger as he punched Yenke in the face. The next thing Yuna saw, Kimahri, Yenke and Biran were brawling with each other.

"Hey you," yelled the bartender, "take it outside! The tournament's starting, you hear?"

Yuna and Patravi shifted their attention to the sphere screen as Kimahri left Biran and Yenke to calm down.

Meanwhile, at the stadium, Maester Mika stood before the audience in his stadium box as he took a deep breath.

"Today," announced Mika, "on this glorious day, players from all over Spira have assembled here to participate in this great contest of bravery, skill and strength. All of these fine teams are equally renowned and they all deserve to win the cup today. Let us spectators play our role accordingly: Let us sing to the glory of the winners, and let us applaud equally the valor of the defeated. Contestants, may Yevon be with you."

Shortly after Maester Mika's announcement, the sphere pool began to fill with water as an applause erupted from the audience. Soon, the Besaid Aurochs and the Al Bhed Psyches jumped into the sphere pool and began the tournament.

After heading out of the café and into the main square, Yuna and Patravi gazed at Kimahri in confusion and disappointment.

"Hey Kimahri," asked Patravi, "were those guys the reason why your horn was broken?"

Kimahri glared at Patravi.

"Sorry," blurted Patravi, "I didn't mean to offend you like that!"

Kimahri ignored Patravi as he headed out of the main square, probably for the Auroch's locker room. Patravi started taking a few steps forward until she noticed a man garbed in a red robe. Her face instantly lit up as if she recognized him.

"Yuna," exclaimed Patravi, "my dad is here!"

"Wait, you mean Sir Auron?" asked Yuna.

Patravi grabbed Yuna's hand.

"Come on, Yuna," persuaded Patravi, "let's go say hi to him!"

"Patravi, wait!" protested Yuna.

The next thing she knew, Patravi and Yuna raced towards the red-robed guy. But little did they know that this caught his attention, until he suddenly turned to face them in the blink of an eye.

"Do you have a problem?" he asked.

"No," answered Yuna, "are you Sir Auron?"

There was a moment of silence.

"Yes," said the man, "why do you ask?"

Yuna didn't say anything, but Patravi's smile widened as she walked up to Auron.

"Hey dad," chirped Patravi, "long time, no see!"

Auron's eyes widened with surprise.

"Patravi?" exclaimed Auron, "Yuna? What are you two doing here in Luca?"

"Yuna became a summoner a few days ago," replied Patravi, "and we're on a pilgrimage."

There was another moment of silence, and Yuna noticed that Auron seemed confused.

"Sir Auron?" said Yuna.

"Yuna," asked Auron, "what drove you to become a summoner?"

"Well," answered Yuna, "I promised my sister that I would avenge her, but it was Sin who inspired me."

"Aha!" exclaimed Patravi, "so you became a summoner so you could impress Sin, didn't you? Well, that's too bad because I'm not going to let that happen!"

Without warning, Patravi lunged at Yuna, who quickly dodged this harmless attack. The next thing she knew, Patravi chased Yuna in a circle for a moment until she grabbed her by the waist.

"Hey," exclaimed Yuna, "Patravi, stop it!"

"You're just way too cute," grinned Patravi, "I'm not going to let you impress those boys, because I will stop at nothing to make you my bride!"

Patravi briefly let go as she and Yuna burst into laughter. After that, Yuna turned to Auron, who seemed amused.

"So, what are you doing here?" asked Yuna.

"I came here to rest up before I begin my search for the Ruin," answered Auron.

"Wait, the Ruin?" paused Yuna, "where did you hear about it?"

"Your uncle Cid told me of these creatures," explained Auron, "he said that they are known to be creatures of disaster."

"So you're not worried about the game?" said Patravi.

Auron shook his head. Just then, he, Yuna and Patravi suddenly heard a scream. When they turned to the source, they noticed a little girl running in the streets up to a woman, who seemed to be her mother.

"What's wrong, Calli?" asked the woman.

"I'm scared, mommy," cried Calli, "there's a big black monster at the docks!"

Auron's eyes widened with surprise.

"Sir Auron?" said Yuna.

"They're here," exclaimed Auron, "follow me!"

Auron led Yuna and Patravi out of the main square and headed for the docks. The next thing Yuna knew, she, Auron and Patravi were at Dock 4, where a few Al Bhed were firing their assault rifles at the huge black monster, the same one that Yuna and her guardians fought back in Kilika.

"Hey Dad," asked Patravi, "what's that?"

"That's a Colossal Ruin," answered Auron, "aim for the faces on its body!"

"Right," replied Yuna.

Yuna, Auron and Patravi charged into battle. They pulled out their blades and slashed away at the faces as they attempted to avoid its deadly attacks. After Yuna managed to take out the last face, the Colossal Ruin suddenly charged at her as it revealed its three pipes that spewed out flames. Suddenly, the ground beneath her seemed to open up, and then Yuna stumbled and fell in.

"Yuna!" shouted Patravi.

It was too late. Yuna has fallen a lot further by now. She soon made a rough landing, but she was still ok.

When she got back to her feet, Yuna looked around and found that she must've fallen into a valley. However, the sky was dark and eerie and there were splatters of black acidic substance scattered all over the place. Yuna wandered about, not knowing what she should do. Before she knew it, the valley started to crumble away, forcing Yuna to venture through the calamity, jumping from platform to platform.

Along the way, she had to fight through hordes of Insidious Ruin. After a long while of fighting and jumping from platform to platform, Yuna found herself standing at the base of a strange mountain.

"I wonder if there's someone waiting for me up there," said Yuna to herself.

Curious, Yuna started to climb up the mountain. While hiking up the mountain, Yuna came by an exotic village. Unfortunately, the villagers, who seemed to resemble meerkats, are being terrorized by Ruin creatures. Yuna cringed at the sight of a few of the unlucky victims being sliced in half, spilling their guts in the process. Not willing to let the Ruin get away with it, she charged into battle and slashed away at the Ruin creatures.

After a short while, Yuna somehow saved the village, as the villagers are now escorting Yuna to their temple, where their elder was waiting.

"Are you the chosen savior foretold by the prophecies?" asked the elder.

"I'm not really sure," answered Yuna, "but I do know that I am fighting for those that I care for, especially Sin. Have the Ruin been troubling you as well?"

"Yes, these foul creatures have enslaved us for around a thousand years," replied the elder, "we prayed for a savior to deliver us from their evil reign, and now you have come for us."

"I guess it's not over yet, right?" said Yuna.

"Not yet," advised the elder, "now that you're here, head for the peak of the mountain. There, you find a magnificent power that will vanquish the foul creatures."

The elder then walked up to Yuna and gave her a sphere.

"Take this key to the peak of the mountain," continued the elder, "it will help you activate the power that will save us all."

"I'll do what I can," nodded Yuna.

The elder then had a few villagers open up the gate that lead further up the mountain. Yuna continued through the gate and ventured through the path as she continued to hike up the mountain. During her trek, she liberated some of the innocent prisoners when she journeyed through a seemingly complex tunnel. In return, they helped open up the path, allowing Yuna to venture further.

Before long, Yuna had finally reached the mountain's peak as she saw a cave opening up ahead. But then, when she entered the cave, it turned out to be a small cave; a dead end. However, she noticed a pedestal in the middle of the cave. She pulled out the sphere and placed it into the pedestal. The next thing she knew, the pedestal shot out a beam of light high into the air.

Yuna slowly opened her eyes, only to find that there was an Al Bhed with a gas mask sitting nearby. Auron and Patravi were also in the room, and Yuna was apparently lying down on a bench with a mattress.

"Yna oui ymm nekrd?" asked the Al Bhed.

Yuna felt confused for only a short moment before realizing that he was speaking his native language.

"I'm fine," answered Yuna.

Yuna sat up on the bench as she glanced at Auron.

"Wait," asked Yuna, "is the Colossal Ruin still out there?"

"It has already been taken care of," answered Auron, "after you fainted at the dock."

"Hold on a second," interrupted Patravi, "what was that monster doing in Luca in the first place?"

"Ed fyc bnupypmo cahd rana," answered the Al Bhed, "pid drana sekrd pa suna uv dras."

"This can't be good," thought Yuna.

After Yuna stood up from the bench, the Al Bhed with the gas mask escorted her, Auron and Patravi off the Al Bhed ship and back onto Dock 4. Auron then led Yuna and Patravi out of the docks until they are in front of the stadium.

"That was close," sighed Patravi, "but what about the game?"

Chapter Text

Patravi led Yuna and Auron into the hallway outside of the Auroch's locker room, where Lulu and Kimahri were waiting.

"Where were you two?" demanded Lulu, "Kimahri and I have been looking all over for you!"

"Yuna passed out at the dock and we had to look after her," answered Patravi.

"We?" asked Lulu, confused.

"Well, me, my dad and some of the Al Bhed," clarified Patravi, "does that bother you?"

"Wakka would be bothered about the Al Bhed," replied Lulu.

Lulu then paced around the hallway for a bit until she glanced at Auron.

"You can't be Sir Auron?" exclaimed Lulu.

"I am," replied Auron, "is it all right if I become Yuna's guardian?"

"Dad, are you serious?" gasped Patravi.

"I promised Braska," replied Auron, glancing at Yuna.

"You're welcome to join us," smiled Yuna, "Sir Auron."

"All right then," agreed Lulu, "I'll just explain this to Wakka after the tournament."

"How far are we?" asked Patravi.

"We're in the finals," answered Lulu, "the Aurochs are already facing off against the Goers."

Yuna, Patravi, Auron, Lulu and Kimahri then started watching the game on the sphere screen. On the screen, Wakka has managed to grab the blitzball after tackling Bickson. But just as he was swimming towards the goal, Bickson and Graav were pursuing him. In a last ditch effort, Wakka shot the ball. Surprisingly, Raudy failed to block the ball as it hit the goal.

"Unbelievable!" exclaimed the announcer, "the Aurochs win, folks! This is history in the making!"

"All right, we did it!" cheered Patravi, "come on, everyone, let's go meet up with Wakka!"

Patravi headed out of the hallway with Yuna, Auron, Kimahri and Lulu following her. However, just as they made it outside, there were swarms of Insidious Ruin and Drifting Ruin all over the place, and some of the citizens were fleeing in fear.

"No way," exclaimed Patravi, "there are more of these guys!"

"I guess that means we're in charge of pest control," replied Lulu.

"How did they get here?" asked Yuna.

Auron gazed up at the sky.

"Look," he said.

Yuna, Patravi, Lulu and Kimahri gazed up into the sky and gaped in surprise at the sight of a strange massive machina that was hovering over Luca. Some of the Ruin creatures dropped down from this machina.

"Protect the city!" shouted Kimahri.

Patravi was about to charge into battle when Auron held out his right arm to block the way.

"Hold on a second," said Auron, "there are some Drifting Ruin in the area."

"What's so special about them?" demanded Patravi.

"They shoot pieces of their substance that can seriously harm you," explained Auron, "attack them when they reveal their faces! Don't let them near the stadium!"

Auron then lowered his arm. Without wasting anymore time, Yuna, Kimahri, Patravi and Auron charged into battle. Taking Auron's advice, Lulu cast her Thunder and Fire spells at any of the Drifting Ruin that have revealed their faces. Unfortunately, even when they all put up a good fight, more Ruin creatures keep spawning to the point where Yuna and her guardians were outnumbered.

Just as the Crusaders and Wakka joined in the fray, Yuna summoned Valefor and Ifrit into battle, who helped wipe out the Ruin creatures. By then, the strange machina has passed over Luca.

With Luca saved, Patravi approached two Crusaders whom she recognized.

"Hey Luzzu," said Patravi, "hey Gatta."

"Are you doing ok?" asked Gatta.

"Yeah," replied Patravi, "but what were those Ruin monsters doing here in the first place?"

"The machina that passed over Luca a moment ago brought them here," answered Luzzu, "we've been investigating it for a few months."

"Ok," agreed Patravi.

Yuna, Patravi, Auron, Lulu and Kimahri headed for the balcony in Luca, where they waited for Wakka, who showed up after several minutes.

"Hey Wakka," said Yuna, "are you doing ok?"

"Yeah, I'm doing ok," replied Wakka, "sorry to keep you guys waiting. From now on, I'm your full-time guardian."

"Welcome back, Wakka," smiled Yuna, "do you mind if Sir Auron comes with us?"

Wakka glanced at Auron.

"Oh," gasped Wakka, "you're Sir Auron!"

"Is it acceptable?" asked Auron.

"Of course we accept," answered Wakka.

As Yuna and her guardians took a moment to rest at the balcony, Yuna sauntered up to Auron.

"Sir Auron," said Yuna, "about the fire…"

"Sin told me about the incident after he brought you to Besaid," replied Auron, "after I left Besaid, I investigated Nero Guado in secret with help from Maester Mika."

"Why hasn't Nero been brought to justice yet?" asked Yuna.

"Nero is one of the administrators of Yevon," answered Auron, "as far as I heard, they are immune to Yevon's justice system, which allowed Nero to get away with his crimes. Your sister was not the only victim; Nero has raped several girls her age since he became an administrator, and he even killed a few of them."

"That's horrible," whispered Yuna.

Yuna cringed at the instant she remembered her sister telling her about her horrible experience with Nero. Tears were about to well up in her eyes when Yuna suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up at Auron, who gazed at her calmly.

"It's all right," assured Auron.

"Thank you, Sir Auron," smiled Yuna.

Soon, Yuna led her guardians up the stairs to Mi'ihen Highroad. During the trek through Mi'ihen Highroad, they came across a bunch of fiends every once in a while. Kimahri performed a Lancet on a Bomb and a Dual Horn, granting him their abilities. Auron demonstrated his worthiness in battle by slaying a Raldo with his heavy sword. Patravi and Wakka were kept busy as they defeated Garms and Floating Eyes. Yuna casted Fire spells on White Elements that passed by while Lulu found some good use by dousing Bombs with Water spells quickly before they exploded.

Soon, they came across two women and one teenage boy on chocobos.

"Lady Summoner," said the redhead, "I presume?"

"Yes," replied Yuna, "I'm Yuna."

"I am Lucil," said the redhead, "captain of the Djose Chocobo Knights. This is Elma and this is Clasko. There have been reports of a large fiend appearing in this area, with a taste for chocobos. Do take care if you are to rent any chocobos."

"Thank you," replied Yuna, "we'll be careful."

The chocobo knights then left in a flash.

"There's a large fiend going about?" said Patravi, "let's go get it!"

"Why?" asked Auron.

"Because it's the right thing to do, right?" answered Patravi.

Auron began chuckling.

"What?" warbled Patravi.

"Jecht said that a lot, too," replied Auron, "and every time he said it, it meant trouble for Braska and me."

Yuna and her guardians continued to venture through the highroad until they came across a little girl and her mom. Yuna quickly recognized the girl back in Luca.

"You're a summoner?" asked Calli.

"Yes," answered Yuna, "I'm Yuna."

"I'm Calli," replied Calli, "did you fight those black monsters?"

"I did," admitted Yuna, "but with some help. Is there something you need?"

"Well, if you ever come across Sin," requested Calli, "could you ask him about those monsters?"

"I'll keep that in mind," replied Yuna.

After waving goodbye to Calli, Yuna continued to lead her guardians through the highroad. After slaying another Dual Horn, Patravi clutched her stomach where it jabbed her as she knelt down in pain.

"Oh fuck," groaned Patravi, "why did it have to be me?"

"Just hang in there, Patravi," assured Yuna.

Yuna cast a Cure spell, which healed Patravi's gash in the blink of an eye.

"Whew," sighed Patravi, as she got back to her feet, "I thought I was done for."

"Just don't get careless," reminded Auron.

Just then, Patravi noticed Luzzu and Gatta, who were taking a break beside the road. She raced toward them with Yuna and her guardians following her.

"Excuse me," asked Patravi, "could you guys tell us more about that machina that appeared in Luca?"

"We are on a mission to destroy that machina before it releases the Ruin to every part of Spira," answered Luzzu, "that is all I'm going to tell you for now."

"Well," replied Patravi, "good luck, then!"

"Well," thought Yuna, "I hope they succeed."

As sunset came in, Yuna and her guardians came across an Al Bhed Travel Agency.

"We rest here," announced Auron.

"But this is an Al Bhed shop!" protested Wakka.

"You have a problem with that?" pried Auron.

"Well…" stammered Wakka.

"Sir Auron is just concerned about your health," suggested Yuna.

"I'm not even tired a single bit!" scoffed Wakka.

"Well," remarked Auron, "I am."

"Me, too," added Patravi.

Wakka reluctantly agreed to Auron's advice as they all entered the Travel Agency to stay for the night.

Yuna found herself before what appears to be an underwater stadium. She wasn't sure why she wasn't drowning, but she assumed that there might be some sort of power that allows her to breathe underwater. She quickly snapped out of her thoughts as she approached the stadium. Perhaps there is some Blitzball game going on?

Unfortunately, there was no Blitzball game. Instead, there was a crew setting up a stage for some sort of play. Curious, Yuna approached the director. However, the instant the director glanced at her, he yelped in surprise.

"What are you doing here?" demanded the director, "the show is not ready yet!"

"I didn't mean to barge in like that," replied Yuna, "do you need any assistance?"

"Well," answered the director, "some of the show's requisites need to be gathered. The script needs fetching from the writer. Then, you'll need to assemble the show's music. And finally, you'll need to gather our stars of the show. In exchange, I can help you with whatever troubles you. Can you handle these tasks?"

"I'll see what I can do," replied Yuna.

Yuna went through one of the exits of the stadium and began her search for the writer. After jumping from platform to platform, she found herself wandering through large glass bottles of red liquid. She was already tired of finding the writer at the moment. Just then, she noticed an octopus inside one of the bottles. She pulled out her turquoise blade and smashed the bottle, releasing the octopus.

"Oi," barked the octopus, "I expected the director to find me in this game of hide-and-seek, not some lady like you!"

"Are you the writer?" asked Yuna, "the director sent me to fetch the script."

"He did?" replied the octopus, "well don't you worry. I'll have the script ready for the director in no time!"

Just then, the octopus left the field of glass bottles. Yuna then went through a nearby tunnel, which led her to a grotto where a large fish was floating about. Behind the fish, there was an array of musical instruments near a pipe which led to a loudspeaker. But for some reason, they're not making a single sound.

"I hate to say this," said Yuna, "but you're out of tune."

"It's not my fault," replied the fish, "I can't hear my notes, because the pipes are obstructed. I can't bother to fix it myself without endangering my vocal chords."

"Sounds like an excuse to me," thought Yuna, "oh well."

Yuna went over to the instruments to investigate. Not surprisingly, there was a huge mound of lethal muck with a doll's face covering the instruments. She pulled out the Eyestaff and fired a beam of energy at the doll's face, which destroyed it. As a result, the lethal muck diminished and the instruments began playing as Yuna approached the fish.

"Does this help?" asked Yuna.

"The audience will be grateful for your efforts," answered the fish.

"I take that as a yes," thought Yuna.

Yuna then ventured through another tunnel that led to another grotto. Strange, she hasn't run into any of the Ruin creatures yet. There, she noticed a few starfish scampering about while one of them gazed at what appeared to be a puzzle. Were those starfish the performers of the show? Curious, Yuna approached one of them.

"Is something wrong?" asked Yuna.

"The poster is ruined," whimpered the starfish, "if I can't put it back together, I'll be sacked for sure."

Yuna glanced around the area and noticed that there were a few pieces of the poster floating around. She wasted no time as she jumped up to catch these pieces. She then helped the starfish put the poster back together, much to their delight.

"Thank you so much," smiled the starfish, "now we can resume our place before our adoring fans."

With these tasks completed, Yuna headed out of the area, while jumping from platform to platform, as she ventured back to the stadium. However, just as she was at the entrance to the stadium, a few Menacing Ruin rose out of the ground. She knew how to take out a Menacing Ruin, but she was sure that taking on a few of them might be challenging. She managed to deflect the projectiles of burning substance with the Eyestaff, which destroyed the small arms of the Menacing Ruin.

After a long while of dodging projectiles, Yuna managed to take down the Menacing Ruin. She quickly headed into the stadium. However, when she entered the stadium, she gaped in horror as the Ruin have already infested the stadium as they ripped apart the guests and even the crew, spilling blood and guts all over the place. Just then, she noticed the director cowering in a corner.

"How did all of this happen?" asked Yuna.

"While you were away, these monsters have attacked us without warning," answered the director, "I say this must be Yevon's doing!"

Without warning, Yuna glanced at a strange machina that was hovering over the stadium. Wait, she remembered seeing it in Luca.

"That machina…" gasped Yuna.

"It arrived after you did," replied the director, "and it's more horrible than you can imagine! Soon, we will all have to go to war, whether we like it or not! Destroy the machina before it destroys you!"

Suddenly, the stadium started collapsing and some of the rubble crushed the director. Yuna was left with no choice but to escape the stadium.

Yuna opened her eyes; sighing at the instant she figured out that it was a dream. However, she had a sneaky suspicion that something terrible might soon happen.

Chapter Text

As morning came in, Yuna and her guardians were getting ready to continue their pilgrimage, until…

"Someone, help!" cried a voice from outside, "the chocobos!"

"Uh," queried Patravi, "does anyone think someone's in trouble?"

"That's our cue," replied Auron, "let's go."

Yuna and her guardians sped outside to investigate the commotion. They soon came across a huge monster standing on top of the agency with a chocobo in one of its hands as the other chocobos fled for their lives. It wasn't long before the fiend drop down onto the field. As it attempted to bring the chocobo to its mouth, the chocobo bit its hand, forcing it to let go as it fled for its life. Then the monster turned its eyes towards Yuna and her guardians. They wasted no time as they charged at the monster.

Kimahri used his Scan ability on the Chocobo Eater, which revealed that it was weak against fire. This gave Lulu and Yuna an opportunity to cast Fire spells at the monster. Patravi and Auron teamed up to slash at the monster with their blades as Wakka pummeled it with his blitzball.

However, it seemed as the Chocobo Eater has plans of its own as it flailed its arm at everyone, knocking them off their feet and scattering them all over the field. Yuna managed to get back to her feet, but her eyes widened in shock at the instant she noticed that they were in a pinch.

Wakka and Kimahri were hanging onto a cliff, Patravi was struggling to get back to her feet while covering her bruised side with her hand, and Lulu was tending to Auron, who just got a gash on his forehead. The Chocobo Eater was approaching the cliff, determined to force Wakka and Kimahri off the cliff.

However, Yuna was not willing to give up that easily, so she pulled out her Eyestaff and fired a beam of energy at the monster. While it may not have killed the monster, it did catch its attention as it gazed at Yuna, with rage in its eyes.

"I'm not finished with you," yelled Yuna, "you bastard!"

Without warning, the Chocobo Eater charged at Yuna. She quickly summoned Ifrit into battle, and Yuna cast a few Fire spells while Ifrit unleashed its Hellfire ability against the monster, which finished it off. In the wake of the battle, Yuna cast several Cure spells to heal herself and her guardians.

"Now that's what I call real live pest control!" commented Patravi.

"Have you any interest in renting some chocobos?" interrupted a voice from behind.

Yuna and her guardians instantly turned to face the source of the voice, which turned out to be an Al Bhed wearing a yellow jacket.

"Sorry for not introducing myself," continued the Al Bhed with the yellow jacket, "my name is Rin, owner of this establishment. As a token of our gratitude, the first time is free of charge. Please ask the attendant if you wish to rent."

"Thank you, sir," smiled Yuna.

Yuna and her guardians kindly accepted the offer before mounting onto several chocobos. After a while of traveling in the northern part of Mi'ihen Highroad, they soon came across a gate at the exit of the highroad. There, they came across Clasko.

"Sorry," said Clasko, "but you have to leave your chocobos here."

Yuna and her guardians glanced at each other in confusion. Figuring that they have no choice, they dismounted their chocobos. They then approached the gate.

"I'm sorry," interrupted the gate captain, "but I can't let you pass. Sorry for the inconvenience."

"Ugh," demanded Patravi, "why the hell not? We're on a pilgrimage!"

"No exceptions," replied the gate captain, "wait here until the operation is over."

Frustrated, Patravi stomped away from the gate.

"That rotten blasted motherfucker…" she muttered.

Suddenly, Patravi found herself standing before Seymour Guado.

"Is something the matter?" asked Seymour.

Patravi gasped in surprise before glancing at the gate.

"We're on a pilgrimage," answered Patravi, "but that son of a bitch won't let us through because of some stupid operation!"

Seymour didn't say anything as he approached Yuna.

"You must be Summoner Yuna," said Seymour, "am I correct?"

"Of course," replied Yuna.

Without saying anything, Seymour walked up to the gate captain.

"Maester Seymour," said the gate captain, "let me show you to the command center."

"All right," acknowledged Seymour, "but I have a request."

"Yes, your Grace?"

"I need to have summoner Yuna and her guardians let through to the command center," requested Seymour, "and do not worry, I will take full responsibility."

"Very well," agreed the gate captain, "they may pass."

Seymour blissfully led Yuna and her guardians through the gate to Mushroom Rock Road. After passing through the gate, Auron stopped Patravi in her tracks.

"What is it?" asked Patravi.

"That wasn't called for, young lady," scolded Auron.

"But dad…" protested Patravi.

"Just because the guard didn't let us through doesn't mean that you can throw insults at him," continued Auron, "understand?"

"Yes sir," sighed Patravi.

Meanwhile, Wakka approached Seymour.

"Excuse me, Maester Seymour," said Wakka, "why are you backing up the Crusaders on this operation? They're using the Al Bhed machina, and that violates the teachings!"

"True," replied Seymour, "but the mysterious machina has been terrorizing the citizens from as far as Bevelle and Djose. You saw it in Luca, didn't you?"

"Yeah, but…" stammered Wakka.

"The Crusaders and the Al Bhed truly wish to stop that machina and the Ruin that come from it," continued Seymour, "this Operation Mi'ihen was born from that wish they share. It's a shame that Uncle Nero does not approve of it, but I believe their intentions are pure."

Yuna and her guardians have followed Seymour through the partway in Mushroom Rock Road for quite a while; fighting fiends passing by along the way. As they reached the lift, they came across Luzzu and Gatta, who they were bickering about something.

"Why only you, sir?" complained Gatta, "I want to fight, too!"

"Orders are orders," replied Luzzu.

"I'm not a cadet anymore, sir," pouted Gatta, "let me go with you, and I'll prove it to them!"

"Guarding the command center is also important," explained Luzzu.

Yuna felt that it probably wasn't a good idea to interrupt their conversation, but she soon noticed Patravi approach the two, grabbing their attention.

"So they let you through?" said Luzzu.

"Yep," nodded Patravi, "but doesn't Gatta deserve any better?"

"At least there's no chance he'll get hurt," suggested Wakka, "why are you guys fighting, anyway? Aren't the Al Bhed machina enough?"

"They still need time to get ready," explained Luzzu, "our job is to keep the mysterious machina at bay until they're done. Also, I might not get another chance to say this, Wakka. It's about your brother."

"Luzzu, wait," protested Lulu.

"What?" said Wakka.

"I'm the one who convinced him to enlist," confessed Luzzu, "I'm sorry."

Wakka soon built up rage as he rose up his fist and punched Luzzu. Wakka was about to continue his assault when Patravi suddenly stepped in between.

"Wakka, stop it!" shouted Patravi.

Wakka eventually calmed down.

"When we used to play Blitzball together," said Wakka, "Chappu used to say that when we won the Cup, he'd propose to Lulu. Then one day, he went off and became a Crusader, just like that."

"Chappu also told me," added Luzzu, "that being with your girl is good. But keeping the Ruin away from her is even better."

Wakka turned to Lulu.

"Lu," he said, "you knew?"

"Luzzu told me before we left," explained Lulu.

"She hit me too," said Luzzu.

Soon, Lucil came by and approached the party.

"All Crusaders in the vanguard are to assemble on the beach," announced Lucil.

"That's my cue," acknowledged Luzzu.

"Be careful, ok?" said Yuna.

After Luzzu left with Lucil, Yuna and her guardians boarded the lift with Seymour, and it soon began to elevate. After reaching the top, Yuna and her guardians dismounted the lift and continued along the ridge, where Wakka noticed cannons along the cliff, pointing at the sea. Without hesitation, Wakka approached the cannons.

"Curse these blasted things!" spat Wakka as he kicked one of the cannons with his feet.

"You still don't like those machina?" commented Patravi sarcastically.

"Shut up!" barked Wakka.

Yuna and her guardians continued to hustle to the command center, where Seymour was bickering with Kinoc.

"Seymour Guado," demanded Kinoc, "you must put a stop to this silly operation at once!"

"You seriously want me to forfeit countless innocent lives?" countered Seymour.

"These are orders from Administrator Nero," replied Kinoc, "besides, that machina is sacred under the name of Yevon!"

"Then tell me why that machina sent the Ruin to Luca during the tournament," commanded Seymour.

Kinoc stared at Seymour, confused. After a moment, Kinoc stormed off in frustration as Seymour turned to face Yuna.

"Sorry about him," said Seymour, "the operation is about to start. Are you ready?"

"If this is for the sake of Spira," thought Yuna, "I think I can handle it."

Yuna nodded.

After that, Seymour walked onto the observation platform and gave out a signal. Then, the Crusaders lit a beacon at the cliff. A while later, the massive machina rose out of the ocean, heading for the shoreline.

"Here it comes!" shouted Lucil.

Not a second later, swarms of Insidious Ruin, Drifting Ruin, Menacing Ruin and Colossal Ruin began spawning from the ground at the beach and near the command center. Yuna and her guardians fought off the Menacing Ruin near the command center as the Crusaders charged at the Ruin on the beach.

Soon, the Al Bhed were almost ready to use their ancient machina. However, several of the Insidious Ruin hijacked the machina and the Colossal Ruin ended up destroying it, killing the Al Bhed inside. To make matters worse, more Colossal Ruin keep spawning to the point where everyone was overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, Seymour gaped in horror as he noticed that the machina hovering over the sea revealed its main cannon and began charging it up.

"Everyone," shouted Seymour, "out of the way!"

Without warning, the machina fired its main cannon at the shoreline, killing some of the unlucky Crusaders.

Yuna was about to summon Valefor and Ifrit into battle when she suddenly heard the familiar call that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind. Some of the surviving Crusaders, including Lucil, also listened to this sound in curiosity. Seconds later, Sin rose out of the ocean and headed for the shoreline.

"It's Sin!" shouted Clasko.

Without warning, Sin generated an energy shield and launched an energy explosion that vaporized the massive swarm of Colossal Ruin on the beach, leaving the survivors astounded by Sin's tremendous power. Yuna sighed in relief, but that relief was short-lived when she noticed that the machina began to aim its main cannon at Sin. Stricken with fear and worry, Yuna quickly began to race toward him.

"Sin," shouted Yuna, "no!"

Yuna was suddenly stopped by Seymour, who grasped Yuna's shoulder.

"Relax, Lady Yuna," said Seymour.

"I can't!" protested Yuna, "Sin is in trouble!"

"Trust me," assured Seymour, "Sin knows what he is doing."

Yuna shook her head in disbelief as she gazed at Sin, who turned to face the machina. Surprisingly, just as the machina fired its main cannon, Sin summoned an energy shield to protect himself. Within an instant, Sin and the machina engaged in a deadly duel, leaving Yuna worried. Not willing to just stand there and do nothing, she broke free from Seymour's grasp and pulled out her Eyestaff. She quickly fired a beam of energy at the cannon. Little did she know, a couple of Drifting Ruin snuck up on her, and Seymour's eyes widened in panic.

"Get down!" warned Seymour.

Seymour tackled Yuna out of the way just as the Drifting Ruin shot a few projectiles of the deadly substance. Fortunately, they missed. As Wakka attacked the Drifting Ruin, Seymour and Yuna quickly got to their feet and returned their gaze back at Sin and the machina.

To their surprise, the main cannon sustained some damage, and Sin gained the advantage as he used the shield to push the beam away from himself before launching an energy explosion at the main cannon, destroying the machina. Yuna gasped in surprise at the instant she realized that Seymour's prediction was correct. As the machina crumbled into the ocean, Yuna sighed in relief.

"See?" grinned Seymour, "I told you Sin would survive."

Chapter Text

With Operation Mi'ihen at its abrupt end, Sin approached the shoreline. Eager to meet up with him, Yuna raced down to the beach. It wasn't long before Sin noticed her presence.

{Yuna,} said Sin, {what brings you here?}

"How did you know that machina would be here?" asked Yuna.

{Valefor and Ifrit told me about that incident from yesterday,} explained Sin, {so I tracked it down myself. According to them, that machina was sent by Yevon.}

Yuna took a deep breath, trying to hold in the shock from the revelation. She then embraced herself to Sin's head.

"I can't believe Yevon would do such a thing," muttered Yuna.

{I've seen far worse from Yevon over a thousand years,} replied Sin, {he can take away those you care for with no remorse.}

"I see," breathed Yuna.

Yuna then looked into Sin's eyes. He seemed calm, which made Yuna smile in relief.

"Thank you for helping us," said Yuna.

{Actually,} replied Sin, {you deserve my thanks, Yuna. I appreciate that you assisted me at that moment.}

Yuna nodded.

{I must go now.}

Yuna darted for the Djose Shore as Sin glided out of Mushroom Rock Road into the distance.

Meanwhile, Gatta was scampering about the beach in a desperate search for Luzzu.

"Luzzu," cried Gatta, "where are you? Luzzu!"

Unfortunately, he heard no response, so he continued his search. After a short while, he finally found Luzzu. Sadly, Luzzu's head and neck were missing as blood was seeping out of where his neck should've been. Horrified, Gatta fell to his knees.

"Luzzu," screamed Gatta, "no!"

Just then, Yuna appeared before Gatta as her eyes widened in horror.

"No way," gasped Yuna.

"The Ruin," muttered Gatta, "they killed him!"

Yuna knelt down beside Luzzu's corpse.

"Luzzu," whispered Yuna, "I'm so sorry."

After taking a deep breath, Yuna stood to her feet and began to perform the sending for the fallen Crusaders.

Meanwhile, Auron found an Al Bhed girl climbing out of the rubble.

"Rikku," asked Auron, "are you ok?"

"I'm fine," answered Rikku, "but some of my friends weren't so lucky. What are you doing here, Auron?"

"Do you remember your cousin Yuna?" queried Auron.

"Of course I do," chirped Rikku, "why?"

"Why don't you come with me?" proposed Auron.

Auron then led Rikku to the Djose Shore, where Yuna, Patravi, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu were waiting. Yuna's eyes widened with surprise.

"Rikku," gasped Yuna, "is that you?"

"Hey Yunie," chirped Rikku, "long time, no see!"

"Do you two know each other?" asked Wakka.

"This is Yuna's cousin, Rikku," answered Auron, "is it acceptable if she comes with us?"

"Sure," smiled Yuna, "why not?"

"All right!" cheered Rikku.

Just then, Seymour appeared before Yuna.

"It seems that you have some sort of bond with Sin," said Seymour, "am I correct, Lady Yuna?"

"Well," replied Yuna, blushing, "I guess so. I just feel safe when Sin is nearby."

"Could you clarify?" requested Seymour.

"Sin brought Yuna to Besaid ten years ago," explained Auron, "after her family died in the Bevelle fire. She has trusted him since then."

"I see," said Seymour, "well, you really are amazing for a summoner, Lady Yuna; perhaps even stronger than Lord Braska."

"You mean my father?" asked Yuna.

Seymour nodded.

"Let me give you some advice," continued Seymour, "anyone would be expected to show their sorrow, but you are Spira's hope. Until you perform the Final Summoning, you must not relent."

"Right," said Yuna.

"Well then," replied Seymour in a humble mood, "until we meet again, farewell."

After that, Seymour left. Yuna then led her guardians north toward Djose Highroad.

While traversing through the Highroad, they had plenty of fiends to fight through. Auron took out the passing Bunyips while Patravi fought off the Garms. Wakka struck down the Bite Bugs as Lulu cast her Watera spells at the Gandarewas. Yuna burned the Funguars with her Fira spells as Rikku stole some interesting items from the passing fiend. Just then, they came across a few Basilisks.

"How do we take care of those things?" asked Patravi.

Without saying anything, Kimahri performed the Lancet ability on one of the Basilisks, giving him the Stone Breath ability in the process. Suddenly, while Auron, Patravi and Kimahri were fighting the Basilisks, one of them gazed at Patravi as its eyes started glowing. Then, after a flash of light, the Basilisk turned Patravi to stone.

"No!" shouted Auron.

"What do we do?" panicked Rikku.

Yuna quickly pulled out the Eyestaff.

"Release us from our burden," voiced Yuna.

With a wave of the Eyestaff, Yuna cast Esuna, which restored Patravi from her petrified state.

"Are you ok?" asked Wakka.

"I'm fine," answered Patravi, "I thought I was done for."

Soon, after taking out the Basilisks, Patravi and Kimahri got into a conversation while they all took a break for a moment.

"Does Yuna look that determined to you, Kimahri?" asked Patravi.

"In dark times she must be," answered Kimahri, "she must shine bright. Now are dark times. Yuna tries hard."

"Maybe we should help her," suggested Patravi.

"If we worry," replied Kimahri, "she tries harder. Do not frown."

"Gosh," sighed Patravi, "that sounds complicated if you know what I mean."

Soon, Yuna regained her pep before leading her guardians onward. After a long while, they reached a crossroad, with one path leading to Djose temple and another leading to the Moonflow. Yuna led her guardians toward the path to the temple without hesitation. After crossing some bridges, they arrived at the temple. Yet, it looked like a massive mushroom rock until it suddenly exploded, revealing the temple.

"Is it me," mused Patravi, "or is there already another summoner here?"

"Well," grinned Rikku, "there's only one way to find out!"

Without hesitation, Yuna led her guardians toward the door to the temple. They were suddenly stopped by a temple priest.

"Halt!" commanded the priest, pointing at Rikku, "the likes of her are not welcome in this hallowed place."

"She is a guardian," argued Auron.

"An Al Bhed as a guardian?" scoffed the priest, "preposterous!"

"What?!" exclaimed Wakka, as he gaped in surprise.

"Isn't she supposed to accompany Yuna as a duty of a guardian?" reminded Auron.

"Very well," sighed the priest.

As Yuna and her guardians entered the temple, Wakka suddenly paused at the entrance.

"This is great," complained Wakka, "I've been traveling with an Al Bhed; a heathen!"

"Are you kidding?" retorted Rikku, "we have nothing against Yevon!"

"Well Yevon said that you Al Bhed are nothing but savages," argued Wakka, "it's all in his teachings!"

"That's not true!" countered Rikku, "is that all you have to say?"

Wakka turned to Yuna.

"Well," said Yuna, "Al Bhed or not, Rikku is still Rikku."

Wakka turned to Lulu.

"Just think of this as an opportunity to learn more about the Al Bhed," suggested Lulu.

"I have a better idea," suggested Patravi, "how about we let the Al Bhed run the temples?"

Wakka and the clergy of the temple instantly gaped in disgust, but then Auron began chuckling.

"Sir Auron?" exclaimed Wakka.

"I welcome that idea," mused Auron.

As Yuna and her guardians proceeded out into the main hall, another summoner emerged from the Cloister of Trials along with two guardians, a man and a little boy.

"I guess you're a summoner like me, right?" commented the summoner.

"I am Summoner Yuna from the Isle of Besaid," nodded Yuna.

"So you're the daughter of Lord Braska," commented the summoner, "why does that not surprise me? I am Isaaru, and I'm a summoner like you. And these are my guardians; Pacce and Maroda."

"Hello!" chirped Pacce.

"Since I was a child," continued Isaaru, "I've always looked up to Lord Braska. Perhaps we shall see who performs the Final Summoning first?"

"I accept your challenge," agreed Yuna.

Soon, Isaaru, Maroda and Pacce left the temple in the blink of an eye.

Then, Yuna led her guardians up the stairs into the Cloister of Trials. When they entered the Trials, they first brought the Djose Spheres from the side walls and into the slots of the north door, which triggered it to open up sideways. Then they proceeded through the hall into another chamber. Patravi and Rikku took both Djose Spheres from both sides of another door and placed them into 2 slots on the eastern side of the platform while Yuna pushed the pedestal in the middle to the east, which soon electrified the Djose Sphere on the pedestal. Then, Yuna took the super-charged Djose Sphere and inserted it into the slot on the right of the door, which opened it.

Meanwhile, Auron and Patravi took the two Djose spheres and placed them onto the pedestal before signaling Kimahri to step onto the floor switch on the west side of the platform. Then, Wakka pushed the pedestal into the pit of lightning in the northern chamber, which created a suspended platform. Then Yuna jumped across the platform before pushing the pedestal on the other side into place. After she exited the chamber, Lulu pressed the floor switch again, teleporting the pedestal back into the chamber. Then, Rikku and Kimahri took the Djose Spheres from the pedestal and carried them back to the starting chamber while Auron took the super-charged Djose Sphere and placed it into the slot on the left of the door. It wasn't long before the glowing Yevon symbol turned into an elevator platform.

Yuna and her guardians stepped onto the platform, and it soon carried them into the next level. Then, Yuna, Rikku, Patravi, Auron and Kimahri pushed the 5 pedestals into place at the same time, which activated the spokes, which revealed a stairway. Yuna then led her guardians up the stairway into the antechamber. Without hesitation, Yuna entered the Chamber of Fayth.

Inside, a vivid spring was waiting for her. It took a matter of moments before Ixion emerged from the spring.

"Nice to meet you," said Yuna, "my name is Yuna."

"Nice to meet you, daughter of Braska," replied Ixion.

"Are there more machina like the one I saw back at the Mushroom Rock Road?" asked Yuna.

"That was one of the machina Yevon used one thousand years ago," answered Ixion, "we Espers are keeping an eye out in case there are more of them. We are relieved that our master took out that monstrosity before it claimed countless innocent lives."

"Me, too," replied Yuna.

Then, Ixion summoned a sphere of energy before disappearing back into the spring. Yuna touched it and it merged with her. As she emerged from the chamber, Dona and Barthello showed up.

"Hey Dona," smiled Patravi, "what brings you here?"

Dona didn't say anything, but Barthello walked up to Auron.

"You are Auron, right?" said Barthello.

"Yes," replied Auron, "why do you ask?"

"Can I shake your hand?" asked Barthello.

Without saying anything, Auron extended his hand and gave Barthello a nice handshake.

"Thank you, sir," smiled Barthello, "this means so much to me! You're the reason I became a guardian."

Barthello stepped back toward Dona, but she glared at him in disgust.

"Touch me with that hand and I'll remove it," warned Dona.

"Give my dad some respect," barked Patravi, "you stupid bitch!"

"Young lady," scolded Auron, "that wasn't called for!"

"But dad..." protested Patravi.

"No buts," countered Auron, "Dona is a summoner, so you should respect her, too. Understand?"

Patravi lowered her head in disappointment.

"Yes, sir," muttered Patravi.

Dona ignored the commotion as she approached Yuna.

"You owe so much to your father," commented Dona, "all these guardians, and Sir Auron, too? The world must look different when you are the daughter of Lord Braska."

"This has nothing to do with my father," snapped Yuna, "I am traveling on my own as a fully-fledged summoner."

Dona entered the chamber without saying anything as Yuna led her guardians out of the antechamber.

Chapter Text

Yuna found herself wandering through what appears to be some sort of factory. Around her, she saw people slaving away on the sidelines of conveyor belts as they try hard to assemble mechanical parts. She wasn't sure what the mechanical parts are for, but she felt bad for them as it appeared that they were forced to do this nonstop. As she meandered deeper into the factory, she came across a strange-looking loudspeaker as it repeated the same announcement over and over:

"A good worker is a live worker; free to live and work! A bad worker is a dead worker, and vice versa. Don't be a bad worker; bad workers are slaves and dead! Payday for good workers has been postponed indefinitely; payday for bad workers is CANCELLED!"

Yuna ignored the announcement and continued on. She eventually came across a door, and when she opened it, she soon found herself outside.

She now found herself in what seemed to be a deserted village cast in shadows. Some of the houses in the village were burning to the ground, and to make matters worse, the village was infested with Insidious Ruin, Slithering Ruin and Bitch Babies running amok. As she fought through the Ruin creatures, Yuna explored the deserted village, jumping from platform to platform and riding up vents created by tiny houses imbued with eyes to get to higher places.

While exploring, Yuna passed by a mirror with the words 'Save Us' written in blood. She also noticed a cradle that contained a baby that was gruesomely cut in half, as well as a few beds soaked with blood. All of this made Yuna cringe in horror. However, she figured that she had no choice but to continue on. While venturing, she was ambushed by a swarm of Bitch Babies that spat out balls of gastric juice at her. It was pretty difficult to dodge such projectiles, and a few of them managed to hit her with searing pain. Fed up with being pelted by the projectiles, Yuna charged up the Eyestaff and launched several flares high into the air. She then gave the Eyestaff a wave and the flares rained down on the Bitch Babies, destroying them in the process.

After a long while, Yuna reached the village square. She cringed in horror at the sight of dismembered heads on wooden stakes as well as headless bodies scattered throughout the village.

"Did a massacre take place here?" thought Yuna.

Just then, Yuna noticed a little girl crying in a secluded place. She cautiously approached the girl, hoping not to scare her. Yuna was only a few feet close when the girl turned to gaze at her. To her shock, the little girl had a nasty gash across her face.

"Please save us," pleaded the girl, "lady summoner."

"Who did this?" asked Yuna.

Without saying anything, the little girl pointed at the fortress overlooking the village. Yuna then raced out of the village and towards the fortress. After a long while, she managed to reach the gates, but was stricken with disappointment when she realized that it was locked. She fired a beam of energy from the Eyestaff to break the lock, and then she pushed the gates open. Inside the fortress, Yuna came across a grotesque figure sitting in its throne. This creature had tentacles for a beard and even its legs were replaced with tentacles. It even had Yevon's symbol on its face.

"Foolish mortal," hissed the creature, "prepare to die."

Yuna quickly pulled out her turquoise blade, ready to battle as the creature rose out of its throne. Suddenly, the stony floor opened up beneath her and she fell in. The next thing she knew, she found herself in a vast chamber. At the same time, the creature rapidly grew to seven times her size. Yuna charged up the Eyestaff and launched flares into the sky. After aiming the Eyestaff, the flares rained down on the creature. However, this did not kill it.

Suddenly, one of the creature's tentacles grabbed Yuna by the waist and slammed her against the wall, causing her to shout in pain. The creature then let go and allowed Yuna to drop to the floor. As Yuna struggled to get back to her feet, the creature shed its armor, revealing a body composed of lethal muck, just like the Ruin creatures she fought.

"Pitiful creature," roared the creature, "your interference will not be tolerated!"

Yuna shook her head in disagreement as she charged up the Eyestaff. She then launched another set of flares into the air which soon rained down on the creature. The next thing she knew, the entire fortress began to collapse, and Yuna had no choice but to escape.

Yuna then found herself at the beach in Besaid Island. She was surprised that this happened all of a sudden, but she was even more surprised that Sin was also here, gazing into her eyes.

{Don't lose hope just yet, Yuna,} assured Sin.

Yuna smiled in relief, and then she embraced herself to his head as she felt her heart beating even faster.

Yuna then opened her eyes, and it turned out that she was dreaming once again. After breakfast, Yuna stepped outside the temple where Auron was waiting.

"Good morning, Yuna," said Auron.

"Where are the others?" asked Yuna.

"They are still getting ready," answered Auron.

"I see," sighed Yuna.

There was a moment of silence, but Patravi, Rikku, Kimahri, Wakka or Lulu still did not show up yet.

"Sir Auron," said Yuna.

"Yes?" replied Auron.

"I think I'm in love with Sin," admitted Yuna, blushing, "but is that wrong?"

Auron placed his hand on his chin and tilted his head, as if thinking. After a moment of silence, Auron turned to face Yuna.

"I don't know the answer," said Auron, "but I suggest you tell Sin about your feelings yourself."

"Ok," agreed Yuna.

Just then, Rikku, Patravi, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu stepped outside the temple.

"Morning, Yunie," chirped Rikku.

"Are you guys ready?" asked Yuna.

"Kinda," answered Patravi, "but we had a hard time waking up Wakka, especially with all that snoring."

"Hey!" barked Wakka.

After a moment of laughter, Yuna led her guardians for the bridge to Djose Highroad, where Gatta was standing.

"Hey Gatta," said Patravi, "what happened to Lucil?"

"Lucil, Elma and Clasko left for the Moonflow," replied Gatta, "they said that they were heading north to find more chocobos in place of the ones that died in battle. I'm about to leave for Besaid soon."

"Does Luzzu's death still bother you?" asked Lulu.

Gatta nodded.

"I just can't believe the Ruin would actually kill him just like they killed Chappu last year," sighed Gatta.

After Gatta left, Yuna and her guardians ventured toward the Moonflow. Along the way, Lulu cast her Fira spells on the Snow Flans as Patravi slaughtered the Garms with her sword. Auron took out the Bunyips while Wakka pummeled the Bite Bugs and the Gandarewas with his blitzball. Yuna burned the Ochus with her Fira spells as Kimahri struck the Funguars with his spear. All the while, Rikku swiped even more interesting items from the fiends.

Soon, they came across Biran and Yenke. Surprisingly, Yuna and Patravi recognized both of them.

"Look," said Biran, pointing at Patravi, "one of Kimahri's friends! Looks just like her."

"What did you say?" barked Patravi.

"Both follow summoners on all fours," teased Biran, "hornless goatlings!"

"Hornless," taunted Yenke, "hornless!"

Biran and Yenke then started laughing at Kimahri, who stomped up to them, as it was apparent that they pissed him off.

"You come to insult Kimahri?" snarled Kimahri.

"Wrong," reasoned Biran, "we come to warn little Kimahri."

"Summoners disappear," added Yenke, "never return."

"Next will be Kimahri's summoner," mocked Biran.

Yuna gasped in shock upon hearing what Biran just said.

"Poor Kimahri," taunted Yenke, "lost his horn! Next lose his summoner!"

"Pitiful Kimahri," teased Biran, "howl alone! Howl alone!"

After that, Biran and Yenke left the scene while laughing.

"I'm worried," muttered Lulu.

"Let the Ronso deal with Ronso problems, ya?" reasoned Wakka, "that's how it's always been."

"I mean I'm worried about those summoners disappearing," objected Lulu.

Wakka glared at Rikku.

"Well don't blame me," said Rikku, "we Al Bhed have nothing to do with this!"

"Summoners aren't just disappearing in the air," added Auron.

"Don't worry about me," assured Yuna, "I can take care of myself."

Yuna and her guardians continued their journey through the Moonflow. After a while, they reached the southern bank. There, they gathered to watch as pyreflies rose from the purple flowers floating in the shallow waters.

"Oh, cool!" smiled Patravi, "are those moonlilies?"

"Yup," replied Rikku, "I really wish we could wait until nightfall. Or maybe we should've made camp here last night."

"I'm sorry, Rikku," objected Auron, "but I'm afraid that's out of the option."

Rikku sighed in disappointment.

"Hey," interrupted Wakka, "we better hurry or we'll miss the shoopuf!"

Yuna and her guardians then headed for the south wharf. There, a shoopuf was standing next to the loading platform. There, they took a break for a little while. Patravi noticed O'aka who was sitting under the tent.

"Hey O'aka," smiled Patravi, "did you find anything interesting this time?"

"Oh, you must be the tomboy from Luca?" gasped O'aka.

"That's right," chirped Patravi, "my name's Patravi."

"Well then," replied O'aka, "I have found a few weapons in my travels so far. Would you like to have a look?"

Patravi nodded, and then O'aka pulled out a few swords on display. Patravi then picked out one particular sword that appealed to her.

"I'll take this one," said Patravi.

"All right then," replied O'aka, "that will cost you 958 Gil."

Patravi made her payment as she put her new sword in its sheath. She then darted back toward the loading dock to rejoin with Yuna and her guardians.

"Have a nice day!" called O'aka.

Yuna and her guardians soon approached a hypello, who turned out to be the shoopuf driver.

"Ride ze shoopuf?" said the hypello.

"Yes," replied Yuna, "we're ready."

"All aboards!" declared the hypello.

Then, the lift lowered to the ground, prompting Yuna and her guardians to board, and the lift soon rose to the top of the shoopuf's back, prompting everyone to climb onto the howdah. It wasn't long before the shoopuf driver jumped onto the shoopuf's neck before motioning it into the river.

For a long while, Yuna and her guardians were sitting in the howdah as the shoopuf crossed the river. They were gazing at ruins that were underwater.

"Say, Wakka," answered Patravi, "how did those ruins end up there in the first place?"

"Yeah," added Rikku, "why build a city over a river, especially one on top of bridges?"

"They just wanted to prove that they could defy the laws of nature," answered Wakka.

"However," added Lulu, "the weight of the city caused the bridges to collapse, and it all sank to the bottom."

"Well," remarked Patravi, "that was rather awkward. I sure hope we don't come across another machina like the one in Luca."

Yuna gazed out into the distance until she laid her eyes on a machina that resembled an octopus flowing in the air. The next thing she knew, an explosion hit the water nearby the shoopuf, which startled it as everyone on the howdah felt it shudder.

"What the hell is going on?" demanded Wakka.

"It's coming from that machina!" shouted Auron, pointing at the machina Yuna spotted.

"Who would want to send a weapon to kill a shoopuf?" yelled Patravi, "it's not fair!"

"I promise you guys that machina is not ours!" replied Rikku.

Yuna stared at the machina in the distance, as she suspected that it might attack again. Her eyes instantly widened in shock when she saw a human figure trapped inside the bubble.

"Someone's in trouble," panicked Yuna, "we have to help him!"

Yuna instantly jumped out of the howdah and Auron quickly followed suit. Fortunately, before both of them could hit the water, Yuna cast a Float spell, allowing them to land on the surface of the water.

"What do you think you're doing?" demanded Lulu.

"Go on ahead," yelled Yuna, "we'll catch up!"

Yuna quickly summoned Valefor, and then she and Auron hopped onto her back.

"That machina attacked the shoopuf," explained Yuna, "and I think someone is trapped inside it."

"I see," replied Valefor, "hold on, you two!"

Without warning, Valefor soared toward the machina. Within a flash, they were only a few meters from the machina as Yuna gazed at the bubble more carefully. Inside, a blonde boy was struggling to break out as he was screaming in pain.

"Tidus?" exclaimed Auron.

"You know him?" asked Yuna.

"If I'm not mistaken," continued Auron, "that machina is draining his life force."

"No way…" gasped Yuna.

Without warning, while dodging missiles, Valefor fired an energy beam which exploded on contact. Then, the bubble dissipated as the machina fell into the river. Fortunately, Valefor snatched the blonde boy in the air with her talons and soared to the north bank of the Moonflow.

Chapter Text

Valefor made a safe landing in the north bank of the Moonflow. Auron then approached the blonde boy.

"Auron!" he exclaimed.

"Are you all right?" asked Auron.

"Yeah," answered the boy, "I was just waiting for Rikku when these warrior monks asked me to help them set up their latest invention. But then, I realized that they tricked me when locked me up inside that force field. I'll bet there are more machina like that one."

"I wonder who could be responsible for this," sighed Yuna.

"I suspect that Yevon might be behind it," replied Valefor, "I believe Master will not be pleased when he hears about this."

Valefor was then dismissed as Yuna approached Auron.

"Sir Auron," asked Yuna, "who's he?"

Auron grasped the boy's shoulder and lifted him to his feet as he turned to glance at Yuna.

"Yuna," said Auron, "this is Tidus, the son of Jecht."

"Wait," paused Yuna, "Sir Jecht? Does that mean he's from Zanarkand, too?"

Auron nodded.

"The Al Bhed found him on their island while I was visiting," explained Auron, "I promised him that I would help him find Jecht, so we're taking him with us."

"Well," smiled Yuna, "nice to meet you. I'm Yuna from the Isle of Besaid."

"Nice to meet you, too," replied Tidus, "Yuna."

Yuna, Auron and Tidus then scampered towards the Northern Wharf, where Rikku, Patravi, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu were disembarking the shoopuf.

"Yuna, Auron!" called Wakka, "are you guys doing ok?"

"We're doing just fine!" replied Yuna.

Yuna, Auron and Tidus eagerly scurried toward Patravi, Rikku, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu. Tidus's eyes widened with surprise as he laid his eyes on Rikku.

"Rikku," exclaimed Tidus, "is that you?"

"Hey, Tidus," cheered Rikku, "long time, no see!"

Wakka glanced at Rikku and then Auron.

"You know him?" asked Wakka.

"Yes," answered Auron, "we are taking him with us."

"Ok," replied Patravi, "but does he have a weapon in case we have to fight the fiends along the way?"

Tidus shook his head no. Patravi then walked up to Tidus and handed him the blue sword Wakka gave to her.

"Do you know how to use a sword?" asked Patravi.

"Not really," answered Tidus.

"Well," replied Patravi, "don't worry. I'm sure you'll get used to it in no time."

Yuna then led her guardians down the road which led to Guadosalam. Once they arrived in Guadosalam, which turned out to be a city inside a cave, they came across a stuffy Guado.

"We have been expecting you, Lady Yuna," said the stuffy Guado, extending his hand, "welcome to Guadosalam."

"Really?" pondered Yuna in curiosity.

"Hey, wait a minute!" interrupted Patravi.

"Oh, I beg your pardon," proclaimed the stuffy Guado, "I am Tromell Guado. I am in the direct service of our leader, the great Seymour Guado. Lord Seymour has very important business with Lady Yuna."

"Business with me?" said Yuna, "what could it be?"

"Please," insisted Tromell, "come inside the manor. All will be explained. Of course, your friends are also welcome."

"Thank you," clarified Yuna, "but is his uncle around?"

"I'm afraid Nero Guado is not here right now," reasoned Tromell, "he has business to do in Macalania."

"I see," sighed Yuna.

Soon, Tromell left, giving Yuna and her guardians an opportunity to explore the place for a while. After resting up a bit from the combat, they headed towards the manor that appeared to be in the center of the underground city. Once inside, they were led into the banquet hall.

"I will go inform Lord Seymour," said Tromell, "please wait here."

As Tromell left to summon Seymour, Yuna approached Auron as Tidus, Patravi and Rikku started munching on the takoyaki they combed from the buffet table.

"Sir Auron," said Yuna, "about Nero…"

"I know you don't trust Nero," interrupted Auron, "but it would be best if you don't mention this to Seymour. You could upset him."

"I understand," acknowledged Yuna.

Soon, Seymour entered the banquet hall.

"Welcome, Lady Yuna," said Seymour, "there's no need to rush. Feel free to make yourselves at home. It has been a long time since we had guests."

"Thank you," replied Yuna, "but why did you ask us to come here in the first place?"

"Well then," said Seymour humbly, "let me show you."

Seymour placed a sphere in a pedestal located at the end of the hall, which summoned a simulation of a night sky, and then a machina metropolis, which dazzled everyone.

"This sphere is a reconstruction created from the thoughts of the dead that wander the Farplane," said Seymour.

The simulation zoomed in further into the machina city.

"Is that Zanarkand?" exclaimed Tidus.

"Correct," marveled Seymour, "this is Zanarkand, the great and wondrous machina city, as it looked one thousand years ago, before it was destroyed by war."

"What does that have to do with me?" asked Yuna, as the simulation from the sphere ended.

"It's been a long time since we had guests," answered Seymour, "so I assumed you would find it acceptable if I invited you over here for a chat."

"Well, ok," nodded Yuna.

"Of course, all summoners are charged to bring peace to Spira," continued Seymour, "but this means more than just performing the Final Summoning. You must also ease the suffering of all Spira. After all, Yevon's teachings say that the Final Summoning is important to fertilize the land that is Spira."

"Isn't Spira fertile enough as it is?" asked Tidus, confused.

"Wait a sec," interrupted Patravi, "if Yevon is the emperor of Spira, then how come he's still in power? Shouldn't he have passed it on to an heir a long time ago?"

Seymour glared at Patravi.

"Do not question Yevon's authority," scolded Seymour, "it's not polite."

"I think Patravi has a point, though," replied Yuna, "then again, do you know how Maester Jyscal died?"

Seymour turned away from Yuna.

"I'm sorry," said Yuna in regret, "did I offend you?"

Seymour turned to glance at Yuna, and then he shook his head.

"I was told that he died from a heart attack," sighed Seymour, "that is all. Feel free to continue your pilgrimage or rest here for the night."

"But it's still midday," whispered Patravi to Tidus, "right?"

Tidus nodded in agreement.

"Thanks for the offer," said Yuna, "but we'll be leaving now."

Yuna then led her guardians out of the manor and into the city. They soon noticed a crowd of Guado gathering at the highest ramp. This propelled them to head for the ramp to investigate.

"What's going on?" asked Wakka.

"It's Lord Jyscal!" cried a Guado woman.

"Lord Jyscal?" exclaimed Lulu, "shouldn't he be in the Farplane?"

"Let's go check it out!" suggested Patravi.

Without hesitation, Patravi broke through the crowd, and headed into the corridor leading to the Farplane, and she was soon followed by Yuna and the rest of her guardians. Once they reached the base of the stairs leading to the Farplane, they noticed a ghost of an elder Guado clad in robes attempting to emerge from the membrane that led to the Farplane.

"That's Jyscal, all right," commented Patravi.

"What's that place?" asked Tidus.

"That's the Farplane," answered Auron, "it's where the dead rest in peace after summoners perform the sending."

"Gotcha," replied Tidus.

"What is he doing?" asked Rikku.

"Yuna," commanded Auron, "send him! He does not belong here!"

Yuna nodded as she raced up the stairs before performing a simple dance which sent him to the Farplane. Suddenly, she noticed that Jyscal's ghost dropped a sphere, which led her to pick it up. After that, she rejoined with her guardians as the traversed back through the corridor of the Farplane.

"Was that really Lord Jyscal?" asked Wakka.

"I don't understand how a man like Lord Jyscal could die and not be sent," said Yuna.

"I would think that he was sent once," suggested Lulu, "but he stayed on Spira. Something, a powerful emotion could have bound him to this world."

"That's against the rules," commented Rikku, "isn't it?"

"What does that mean?" asked Patravi.

"It means he died an unclean death," concluded Auron.

After emerging from the gate, the crowd of Guado all sighed in relief before continuing on with their lives. After a little preparation, Yuna led her guardians down a tunnel which led to an exit, which revealed a vast plain with towers and a heavy thunderstorm. They have just reached the Thunder Plains.

"Oh no," bleated Rikku, "we're here!"

Rikku instantly flinched after a flash of lightning struck down.

"Looks like we're going to cross an obstacle course," sang Patravi, "right?"

"We should still avoid wide open areas," said Lulu.

"I think I forgot something in Guadosalam," lied Rikku.

"Nice knowing you," said Auron in disappointment.

"Okay," groaned Rikku, "I'll go!"

Yuna and her guardians began traversing across the Thunder Plains. Along the way, they had to dodge incoming lightning every once in a while, much to Rikku's dismay. There were even fiends to fight through as well.

Auron and Kimahri took out the Kusariqqus as Tidus and Patravi took turns fighting the Melusines. Wakka pummeled the Buers as Lulu cast her Watera spells to take out the Gold Elements. Yuna struck down the Aeroges and Larvae with her Watera spells as Rikku snagged some items. There were also some several occasions when Patravi had to call out to Kimahri whenever he was distracted by nearby Qactuar stones. After a long while of trekking through the southern regions, everyone was startled by yet another lightning flash.

"Whoa," exclaimed Patravi, "now that was a close call!"

"Stop kidding around," scolded Lulu.

"Geez, fine," pouted Patravi.

Rikku suddenly stopped in her tracks, while chuckling.

"What's wrong?" asked Wakka.

Rikku didn't answer; she just chuckled once again.

"You seem nervous," said Yuna, "are you ok?"

After another flash of lightning, Rikku cowered to the ground, and she soon skittered about until she grabbed hold of Tidus's legs, which startled him.

"I wanna go home!" cried Rikku, "I hate lightning! I hate thunder!"

Rikku soon gazed at a nearby Travel Agency.

"Let's go rest over there," begged Rikku, "please?"

"This storm never stops," said Auron, "it's better to cross quickly."

"But," bleated Rikku, "just for a little while, please? I'm too young to die!"

Patravi looked at Auron with concern in her eye.

"I kinda feel sorry for her…"

"Fine," sighed Auron, "we rest. She's worse than the storm."

Yuna and her guardians headed for the Travel Agency to rest up. Yuna managed to get a room for herself as her guardians rested on the chairs in the lobby. While waiting for Yuna to emerge from the room, Tidus and Patravi turned to Rikku.

"Are you really that scared of lightning?" asked Tidus.

Rikku nodded.

"When I was little," explained Rikku, "a fiend attacked me while I was swimming at the beach. My brother tried to beat it back with a spell, but he missed and it hit me instead! It was a thunder spell, and I've been scared of lightning ever since."

"Ouch," commented Tidus.

"Yeah," added Patravi, "that definitely sucked."

"But it can be effective," interrupted Lulu, "magic is effective against marine fiends."

Meanwhile, Yuna has just finished viewing the contents of the sphere that Jyscal gave her. She took a deep breath, trying to hold in the shock from what she learned from the sphere.

"I should've known that Nero was behind this…" breathed Yuna.

Yuna then exited the room rejoined her guardians in the lobby. However, before they left, they noticed a female acolyte talking to Rin.

"Are you sure you Al Bhed did not invent those machina?" asked the acolyte.

"I'm absolutely positive," answered Rin.

"I see…" sighed the acolyte.

Curious, Yuna walked up to the acolyte.

"Excuse me," said Yuna, "could you tell me more about this machina?"

"I heard that there is this machina that is powered by the souls of the summoners," replied the acolyte, "so I'm trying to find out who invented these machina in the first place."

"Wait," paused Patravi, "a machina powered by a summoner's soul? What does that mean?"

"As far as I heard," replied the acolyte, "this machina drains the summoner's soul to the point where it kills them."

"Wait a minute," interrupted Tidus, "those warrior monks experimented that kind of machina on me!"

"Then," gasped Lulu, "that would explain the summoners disappearing…"

"Thanks for the heads up," smiled Patravi, "miss, uh..."

"I'm Shelinda," said the acolyte, "please be careful, lady summoner!"

"I will," replied Yuna.

Chapter Text

Yuna and her guardians continued their journey through the Thunder Plains as they continued to fight through the occasional fiend, including several Iron Giants. After a seemingly long trek, they reached Macalania Woods.

"All right!" chirped Rikku, "we finally made it!"

Yuna and her guardians began to venture through Macalania Woods. They soon ran into Lucil and Elma.

"Hey, Lucil," said Patravi, "how are you doing?"

"Elma and I are doing fine," replied Lucil, "but we've received several reports of summoners disappearing these last few days. Please, be careful."

Lucil and Elma soon left for somewhere else. Yuna and her guardians then continued through Macalania Woods. Along the way, Kimahri used his Lancet ability on a Chimera, which allowed him to learn Aqua Breath. Tidus practiced his sword fighting by fighting the occasional Xiphos as Patravi sliced up some Iguions. Wakka pummeled some Wasps with his Blitzball as Lulu zapped the Blue Elements with her Thundara spells. Auron struck down some Murussus as Rikku and Yuna teamed up to fight the occasional Chimera.

When they reached the end of the woods, Auron stopped before a fallen tree.

"Wait," muttered Auron, "it is here, somewhere."

"What's here?" asked Yuna.

"Something you should see," replied Auron.

"But dad," protested Patravi.

"It won't take long," assured Auron.

Then, Auron pulled out his blade and hacked away at the fallen tree, which revealed a hidden path.

"Follow me," commanded Auron.

Auron led Yuna and the rest of her guardians down the path, which led into a spring.

"Hey Dad," asked Patravi, "what's this place?"

"This is what spheres are made of," explained Auron, "it absorbs and preserves people's memories."

"I see," sighed Yuna.

Suddenly, a blue amorphous creature emerged from the spring.

"What the fuck is that?!" exclaimed Wakka.

"Fiends are also attracted to these places," mentioned Auron.

Everyone wasted no time as they charged into battle. Tidus, Kimahri and Patravi tried their luck as they slashed at the Spherimorph, but it seemed to do no damage at all. Wakka couldn't inflict much damage with his Blitzball either. Meanwhile, Lulu and Yuna paid attention to the Spherimorph's behavior the instant they noticed that it has been casting elemental spells on the party. Soon, the Spherimorph nearly burned Rikku with a Fire spell, and then Lulu cast a Blizzara spell on the fiend.

"Rikku," asked Lulu, "are you ok?"

"I'll be fine," answered Rikku.

Without warning, the Spherimorph began glowing green for only a moment before its color changed back to blue. Rikku tossed a grenade at the fiend, triggering an explosion. Of course, it didn't do much damage, but then the Spherimorph cast a Blizzard spell on Wakka, nearly freezing him in the process. Yuna responded by burning the fiend with a Fira spell.

Within an instant, the Spherimorph instantly shifted its elemental properties once again before it cast a Water spell, which soaked everyone. Yuna then summoned Ixion into battle as he unleashed his Thor's Hammer ability on the fiend. Within an instant, the Spherimorph dissolved into pyreflies as it dropped a sphere.

Auron picked up the sphere and brought it before everyone.

"Isn't that sphere old?" asked Wakka.

Auron shook his head.

"I left it here ten years ago," answered Auron.

Within an instant, he began to play the footage of the sphere.

A muscular man with black hair and a red bandana was racing towards a Travel Agency in the Calm Lands. There, Auron and Braska were resting under an awning.

"Hey guys!" shouted the man, "I saw an awesome giant creature! Let's go check it out!"

"Not right now, Jecht," groaned Auron, "we're leaving for Mount Gagazet in a few minutes."

"Is it a fiend?" asked Braska.

"I don't think so," answered Jecht, "but it looks like some sort of mutated whale."

"Sin!" exclaimed Braska.

Braska quickly jumped to his feet and emerged from the awning as Auron followed suit.

"Braska," demanded Auron, "where are you going?"

"Sin is in the Calm Lands," answered Braska, "we have to investigate as soon as we can! I hope he doesn't cause any trouble."

Braska then raced through the Calm Lands with Jecht and Auron following him. Ahead, Sin was hovering at the western cliff. After a while of sprinting, Braska, Auron and Jecht managed to reach the cliff, as Sin turned to gaze at them.

{Are you Summoner Braska?} asked Sin.

Braska nodded.

{Do you even realize how much danger you are putting yourself into?} continued Sin.

"I already know how dangerous the pilgrimage is," answered Braska, "we're you searching for me this whole time?"

Sin nodded.

{I request that you end your pilgrimage for your own sake,} requested Sin.

"You've got to be kidding!" protested Jecht.

"Why should I?" asked Braska.

{Do you value your own life,} pried Sin, {as you value your family and your friends?}

Braska placed his hand on his chin as he thought over the question.

"Braska?" said Auron.

"I value the safety of my family more," answered Braska.

{So you are willing to throw away your own life?} objected Sin, {if you continue the pilgrimage, you will die.}

"Are you sure about this?" asked Braska.

Sin nodded.

"Well," sighed Braska, "I'm afraid I cannot quit my pilgrimage, or Yevon will have me excommunicated, but would you mind doing me a favor?"

{Feel free to ask,} replied Sin.

"Should anything happen to me," requested Braska, "would you be willing to protect my daughters from any potential danger, especially Yuna?"

There was a moment of silence as Jecht and Auron stared at Braska, confused.

{As long as you are aware of your fate,} answered Sin, {I accept your request.}

Just then, the footage ended. Yuna took in a deep breath to hold in the shock from the message in the sphere.

"So that explains why Sin was there for me," commented Yuna.

"Exactly," replied Auron.

"Hold on a second," interrupted Tidus, "was that really my old man in that sphere?"

Auron nodded.

"Jecht, Braska and I went on a pilgrimage ten years ago," explained Auron.

"I guess that makes sense," sighed Tidus, "now that you think about it."

Yuna and her guardians left the spring and headed out to Macalania Lake. When they stopped by the Travel Agency, they noticed that Barthello was sulking on a bench.

"Hey, Barthello," said Patravi, "are you doing ok?"

Barthello turned to glance at Yuna and her guardians.

"Have any of you guys seen Dona?" asked Barthello.

"Who's Dona?" asked Tidus, confused.

"Dona is a summoner from Kilika," answered Rikku, "and Barthello's her guardian."

"I'm sorry, Barthello," stated Yuna, "but we haven't seen her. What happened?"

"We got separated on our way here," fretted Barthello, "damn it all! I've got to find her!"

"Panicking is not going to help you," said Auron, "right now, you just need to keep calm and search."

"But," replied Barthello, "if something bad happens to her…"

"Don't worry," chirped Rikku, "we'll help you!"

"Thank you so very much," sighed Barthello.

Yuna and her guardians then left the Travel Agency and headed for the frozen lake. Ahead, they all gasped in surprise when they laid their eyes on another machina just like the one in the Moonflow, except that it resembles some sort of battle tank. To make matters worse, a few warrior monks were restraining Maroda and Pacce while attempting to force Dona and Isaaru toward an ominous-looking generator.

"Dona!" shouted Barthello in panic.

Barthello sprinted towards the commotion with Yuna and her guardians following him. Not surprisingly, the warrior monks noticed them.

"Let them go, now!" yelled Yuna.

"Lord Nero would not forgive us if we did," replied a warrior monk, "seize her."

"No," interrupted another warrior monk, "Nero's orders are to kill Lady Yuna on sight."

"What?" exclaimed Wakka.

One of the warrior monks punched Isaaru in the stomach before hoisting him into the container of the generator. Then, the battle tank rolled toward Yuna and her guardians on the ice field.

Just as Lulu was about to cast a Thundara spell, the battle tank released a smaller machina that started floating in the air. Sadly, Lulu couldn't cast the spell on the machina.

"That's impossible," muttered Lulu.

"I think we have to take that thing down first," explained Rikku, pointing at the drone, "it's using an anti-magic field on us!"

Wakka then started pummeling the drone with his blitzball as Tidus, Auron and Kimahri began attacking the battle tank as they dodged shots from its Gatling gun that was hidden in the battle tank's compartment. Patravi struggled to free Isaaru from the generator as he was screaming in pain. It was apparent that the generator was draining Isaaru's life energy to power up the machina.

Meanwhile, Wakka was having a hard time taking down the drone as it kept moving too fast. Rikku pulled out a grenade and tossed it at the drone which instantly exploded on contact, and the ruined drone dropped to the ground.

"Nice shot, Rikku!" smiled Tidus.

Lulu and Yuna seized this opportunity and cast a few Thundara spells at the battle tank, which immobilized it. However, its main cannon began charging up.

"Everyone out of the way!" shouted Auron.

Unfortunately, it appeared to be too late, as the battle tank fired a powerful red beam of energy at everyone. Just then, Yuna managed to summon Valefor and Ixion into battle at the last minute as they summoned a powerful shield that negated the mana beam.

"Lady Yuna," asked Valefor, "are you all right?"

"We're ok," answered Yuna, "but Isaaru's in trouble!"

Ixion galloped towards the generator, where Patravi was still having a hard time to break open the container. Isaaru was on his hands and knees by then, and Patravi glanced at Ixion.

"This damn thing won't budge!" complained Patravi.

"Stand aside," commanded Ixion.

Patravi stepped a few feet away from the generator as Ixion launched a couple of spinning razor-sharp discs that converged on the generator, destroying it in the process. Fortunately, Isaaru managed to survive as he crawled out of the rubble. Meanwhile, Valefor fired a super-charged beam at the ground where the battle tank was standing, and after a moment, an explosion destroyed it.

Dona managed to free herself and reunite with Barthello as Maroda and Pacce rushed to Isaaru's aid. Yuna and her guardians gave the warrior monks icy glares, who were gaping in surprise and anger.

"You imbeciles!" roared a warrior monk, "Lord Nero will punish you for this treachery!"

As the warrior monks fled, Yuna darted toward Isaaru and cast a Cura spell on him.

"Thank you, Yuna," gasped Isaaru in relief, "I thought it was over."

"You're welcome," smiled Yuna, "Isaaru."

"Well," added Rikku, "I hope this doesn't happen again."

Yuna then approached Valefor and Ixion as Dona and Isaaru left with their guardians.

"Are there still more machina like the one that harmed Isaaru?" asked Yuna.

"After we informed Master of this kind of machina in the Moonflow," explained Ixion, "he sent us out to search all over Spira for similar ones and destroy them. Thanks to you, we have taken out the last one."

"Thanks," replied Yuna, "but according to those Yevonites, I think Nero Guado might be behind all of this. Should I take him out myself?"

There was a moment of silence as Valefor and Ixion glanced at each other before glancing back at Yuna.

"We don't know yet," answered Valefor, "would you like us to ask Master for you?"

Yuna nodded.

Valefor and Ixion then took off as Yuna rejoined with her guardians. Just then, they noticed Seymour as he arrived in Macalania Lake.

"Hey Seymour," sang Patravi, "what you doing?"

"I was heading for Macalania Temple," replied Seymour.

"Why?" asked Yuna.

Seymour turned his face away from Yuna.

"That is none of your concern," retorted Seymour, "Lady Yuna."

"Does it have something to do with your uncle?" pried Yuna.

Seymour fidgeted on the icy ground as he nervously glanced at Yuna and her guardians.

"You seem anxious," said Tidus, "are you ok?"

Seymour sighed as he lowered his head to where he was staring at the ground.

"My uncle has been acting strange lately," he muttered, "since Operation Mi'ihen, he refused to talk to me and he kept avoiding me when I tried to explain to him."

"Is that because you went against your uncle's orders?" asked Lulu.

"How did you know?" demanded Seymour.

"We heard your conversation with Maester Kinoc," explained Auron.

"Why are all of you so interested in Uncle Nero?" asked Seymour.

Disgusted, Yuna turned away from Seymour and clenched her fists.

"I don't like him," glowered Yuna.

"What?" exclaimed Wakka.

Yuna pulled out the sphere from Jyscal Guado as she approached Seymour.

"Jyscal gave me this when I sent him," explained Yuna, holding out the sphere.

After her guardians and Seymour gathered around Yuna, she began playing the sphere's footage.

Jyscal Guado appeared to be floating in the middle of nowhere.

"What I am about to tell you is the unclouded truth. I swear upon it as a Guado. Listen to me very carefully, for I shall tell you the truth about my son, Seymour, and my brother, Nero. Seymour was rather a shy boy in his early years, even when he looks upon me, a maester of Yevon. But my brother, Nero, is more close-minded and more sadistic than I thought. I can feel flames of darkness burning in his heart. He is using Yevon, the Guado, the summoners and even my son for his abusive intentions. If he is not stopped, he will surely bring chaos and despair to Spira. I will leave this world soon, killed by my own brother. But surely, I will accept death as punishment for my failure to stop him from abusing the innocent. But whoever is watching this, I implore you to stop Nero. Stop my brother!"

The footage ended and everyone, except for Yuna and Auron, gasped in shock.

"I should've known," muttered Auron.

Chapter Text

Seymour anxiously glanced at Yuna.

"It's not true," pleaded Seymour, "tell me it's not true!"

Yuna shook her head.

"It's true," said Yuna.

Auron then approached Seymour.

"That's not the only thing that Nero did," added Auron, "ten years ago, he raped and killed Yuna's older sister, and then he set their home in Bevelle on fire to cover his tracks."

"Oh brother," grumbled Tidus.

Seymour glanced at Yuna with anxiety in his eyes.

"I don't believe you!" shrieked Seymour.

Seymour then pushed Yuna out of the way and stormed off, and she began to sprint after him.

"Seymour," shouted Yuna, "wait!"

Auron suddenly blocked Yuna's path with his arm.

"Let him go," he said.

"But Sir Auron…" protested Yuna.

"Give him time to think," insisted Auron.

Yuna sighed in disappointment.

"I hope Seymour will understand soon," thought Yuna.

Yuna then led her guardians through the icy crevasse that led to the gate to the temple. They arrived in Macalania Temple after crossing a spiraling icy bridge over the lake. Upon entering the great hall of the temple, Nero Guado stood in their way as he gave Yuna an icy glare.

"Stop right there," roared Nero, "you heathen summoner! You should be dead!"

"Get out of the way!" barked Tidus.

"Not until I give your summoner the proper punishment," snarled Nero.

Nero reached out in an attempt to grab Yuna, but she quickly pulled out her turquoise blade and slashed it across Nero's hand and he shrieked in pain as blood seeped out of his wound. Yuna and her guardians then sprinted up the stairs into the Cloister of Trials. However, as they ran through the icy tunnel, Nero was already pursuing them. Fortunately, they managed to reach the waiting chamber as they quickly closed the door. Lulu then cast a Blizzara spell that froze the door.

"That should hold him," sighed Lulu.

"But not for long," added Patravi.

"What are we going to do?" panicked Rikku.

"We hide in the Chamber of Fayth," suggested Yuna, "all of us."

"But we can't go in the Chamber," protested Wakka, "it's taboo, remember?"

"You can stuff your taboos!" countered Tidus.

Wakka glanced at Auron, confused.

"Tidus is right," reasoned Auron, "better safe than sorry."

"Let's go," said Kimahri.

Yuna and her guardians went through the other door that led to another icy bridge and straight into the Chamber of Fayth. This time, everyone went inside, where they came across another vivid spring. It wasn't long before Shiva emerged while everyone was settling down to rest.

"Welcome, summoner," said Shiva, "I am Shiva, the Esper of Macalania."

"Nice to meet you," replied Yuna, "you can call me Yuna."

"Then you must be the daughter of Lord Braska?" continued Shiva.

"You heard from Sin?" asked Yuna.

Shiva nodded.

"He said that you have a potential to free all of Spira," said Shiva.

"Huh?" paused Rikku.

"What does that mean?" asked Yuna, confused.

"Good question," commented Shiva, "you should ask him yourself. He will explain everything."

Shiva then summoned a sphere of energy before disappearing back into the spring. Yuna touched it and it merged with her. After that, Yuna turned towards her guardians.

"I guess my journey's not over yet," said Yuna.

"Yeah," replied Patravi, "but what about that psycho Guado?"

"Nero has been abusing innocent people ever since he became an administrator of Yevon," explained Auron, "now that we know the damage he's done, we have only one choice: We must kill him."

"Oh," commented Tidus, "so we're going to teach this Nero guy a lesson?"

"So basically," added Rikku, "Nero really was bad news all along!"

"But he's Seymour's uncle," protested Wakka.

"If he truly is at fault," replied Lulu, "it must be done."

"I can't believe this is happening…" muttered Wakka.

"Nero committed crime," reminded Kimahri, "Yuna must punish Nero."

Yuna and her guardians emerged from Shiva's chamber and maneuvered along the icy bridge. When they entered the waiting chamber, Nero was standing near the door to the Cloister of Trials.

"There you are," sneered Nero, "you filthy heathen!"

"You're the heathen," barked Yuna, "my family is dead because of you!"

"We all have seen what you've done, Nero," added Auron, "I've seen you abuse those innocent people while you use Yevon as a shield. We will punish you for that evil!"

"And you killed Jyscal," shouted Patravi, "didn't you, you son of a bitch?"

Nero gave out an ominous cackle.

"So," taunted Nero, "you fools have sided with this preposterous bitch? I can do whatever I please with Yevon on my side."

"If Yevon won't punish you," snapped Yuna, "then I will!"

Nero then summoned swarms of Bitch Babies and Insidious Ruin as Yuna and her guardians charged into battle. Wakka was keeping the Bitch Babies busy by pummeling them with his blitzball as Lulu cast her Fira spells at any of the Bitch Babies that might've dodged Wakka's attacks. Tidus and Patravi took turns slicing out the Insidious Ruin as Yuna, Kimahri and Auron assaulted Nero. However, Nero took matters in his own hands as he cast Thundara spells at everyone. Fortunately, Rikku mixed a Potion with a Hi-Potion and used the combination to heal everyone.

Also, the Bitch Babies were really annoying, as one of them spat out a ball of gastric juice that hit Yuna in her back as she screamed in pain. Fed up with taking injury, Yuna charged up her Eyestaff and launched several flares into the air as Auron leaped up into the air and plunged his blade into the ground, triggering an explosion that burned Nero. With a wave of the Eyestaff, the flares rained down on the remaining Bitch Babies.

To her surprise, one of the flares also hit Nero in the face. Yuna pulled out her turquoise blade and plunged it straight into Nero's chest. With blood spurting from the stab wound, Nero fell to the floor; dead.

"What have I done?" muttered Wakka.

Just then, Tromell Guado came into the chamber from the Cloister of Trials, along with his attendants. He gaped in horror after glancing at the corpse drenched in blood lying before him.

"Lord Nero!" wailed Tromell, "what happened here?"

"Wait a minute," protested Patravi, "Nero's the one that attacked us first! He's the bad guy!"

Tromell turned to Yuna, with a fierce glare in his eyes.

"You did this?" bellowed Tromell.

"Yuna," commanded Auron, "send him."

"No!" protested Tromell, as the attendants carried Nero's corpse out of the room.

"You will rue the very day you took away our beloved administrator," bellowed Tromell, "traitors!"

"Traitors?" thought Yuna.

"Great," grumbled Patravi, "we're finished."

"I know," suggested Rikku, "why don't we just explain to him what happened?"

"It won't be easy," replied Auron, "let's get out of here."

Yuna and her guardians eventually headed for the door that led into the Cloister of Trials. However, they suddenly noticed that the icy tunnel was gone. Fortunately, they found some Macalania spheres scattered throughout the Cloister of Trials and placed them into slots, which reassembled the icy bridge. They headed out of the Cloister of Trials and into the main hall. Unfortunately, Tromell and many more Guado minions were blocking their path.

"Please," begged Yuna, "give us a chance to explain!"

"There's no need for it," rejected Tromell, "I already know what I will tell the maesters; as an administrator of Yevon, Lord Nero guided his nephew Seymour in the steps to becoming a maester."

"You're not letting us go," muttered Tidus.

"Let you go?" drawled Tromell, "Lord Nero would never forgive us if we did."

"Hey Yunie," whispered Rikku, "do you still have that sphere?"

Yuna checked her pockets, but gasped in surprise the instant she found out that she doesn't have it with her anymore. Where did it go? Yuna then glanced at Tromell, who was holding out Jyscal's sphere.

"You mean this?" asked Tromell.

"Damn it," thought Yuna.

Yuna realized that she dropped the sphere while fleeing from Nero, and she didn't even notice. To make matters worse, Tromell crushed the sphere with his bare hands.

"You son of a bitch!" spat Patravi.

"The Guado take care of Guado affairs," declared Tromell in a cold tone.

Rage built up in Kimahri's eyes as he pulled out his spear and swung it at the attendants, scaring them out of the way.

"Away!" growled Kimahri.

"Run!" shouted Auron.

Yuna and her guardians escaped the temple and raced across the icy bridge as the Guado attendants chased after them, forcing Rikku to toss a flash grenade at the attendants to slow them down. They fought through fiends as they raced through the icy crevasse after making it out of the bridge.

However, when Yuna and her guardians arrived at the frozen lake, they got ambushed by the Guado attendants. A few of them tackled Kimahri to the ground.

"Kimahri!" shouted Yuna.

Kimahri was struggling to free himself. Unfortunately, one of the Guado attendants punched him in the stomach and he passed out as they dragged him out of Macalania Lake.

"No," whispered Yuna.

Shaking her head in disbelief, Yuna began sprinting after the Guado attendants, hoping to save Kimahri, when suddenly…

"Hey guys," whimpered Rikku, pointing at a distance.

"What?" asked Tidus.

Yuna and her guardians glanced where Rikku was pointing and to their shock, a Wendigo appeared before them, accompanied by a couple of Colossal Ruin before as it leapt off the snow bank and onto the icy ground, sending vibrations across the surface. Yuna was certain that she and her guardians have to kill it before its weight cracks the ice.

Auron, Tidus and Patravi charged at the Wendigo and slashed at it with their blades as the Colossal Ruin strode onto the icy surface. Wakka and Lulu knocked out the doll heads of the Colossal Ruin by pummeling them with a blitzball and casting rounds of Thundara. Yuna cast a few rounds of Fira at the Wendigo as Rikku tossed a grenade at one of the Colossal Ruin.

They hoped it would be easy, but then the Wendigo rushed forth as it slammed its fist into Yuna's stomach, sending her crashing into the icy ground. At the same time, the Colossal Ruin revealed their pipes and began charging at the party as they spewed out fire, which burned Wakka and Rikku. Yuna struggled to get back to her feet, even if she was still in pain as blood was seeping out of a couple of huge gashes on her face, her back and her arm, staining the icy ground. She charged up the Eyestaff and launched several flares into the sky, which rained down on the Colossal Ruin and the Wendigo. The Colossal Ruin were finally taken out, but it seemed that the Wendigo was staggering in pain.

Yuna and her guardians were gazing at the Wendigo while standing on the frozen lake, now stained with blood.

"Is it dying?" asked Patravi.

Suddenly, the Wendigo let out a loud cry before slamming its fists down onto the icy ground, causing it to crumble open, sending everyone plunging down into the depths of the lake. The last thing Yuna remembered before passing out; she felt a pulse of energy that somehow broke her fall.

"Yuna," said a faint voice, "Yuna?"

Yuna slowly opened her eyes and found herself underneath the frozen surface of the lake, and she even noticed that Tidus and her guardians were kneeling down next to her, surrounded by what appears to be ruins.

"Have we died?" asked Yuna.

Tidus shook his head. Yuna then got back to her feet as she gazed at her guardians, who also stood to their feet. Just then, Patravi shuffled up to Yuna and gave her a hug for a brief moment.

"I'm glad you're ok, Yuna," smiled Patravi, "I thought we lost you."

"Thanks, Patravi," replied Yuna.

"Wait, what about Kimahri?" panicked Rikku, "we have to go save him! They could kill him at any minute!"

"Don't panic, Rikku," assured Auron, "Kimahri is not going to die. He is a strong Ronso, so he can take care of himself. In the meantime, we should get moving soon."

Suddenly, Yuna and her guardians felt a huge vibration on the ground.

"There's something here!" exclaimed Wakka.

"Whatever it is," added Tidus, "it's probably alive!"

Just then, Yuna and her guardians heard a strange growl that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind.

"Sin!" gasped Yuna.

They gasped at the instant they realized that they landed on top of Sin, and it turns out that Sin was starting to emerge from the water.

"Everyone," yelled Lulu, "hold on to something!"

Yuna and her guardians scrambled to embrace to the structures as Sin ascended out of the lake. At that moment, Yuna began wondering if Sin had something planned for her.

Chapter Text

Yuna found herself in Bahamut's arms as he stood before Sin. She looked around, noticing that they are in what appears to be an ancient temple in ruins, but where were her guardians? She turned to glance at Sin, and it seemed that he and Bahamut were speaking to each other.

"Lady Yuna is still alive, but I suspect Yevon might send his troops after them," said Bahamut, "what should I do with her?"

{Leave her to me,} requested Sin, {I need to speak to her alone. Do you understand?}

"Yes, Master," replied Bahamut.

Bahamut gently set down Yuna before heading for somewhere else. Just then, Sin focused his eyes on her.

"W-Where are my friends?" asked Yuna.

{I assure you they are safe,} answered Sin, {you were lucky I saved your life back in Macalania.}

Sin leaned his head closer to Yuna as a few lavender colored tendrils slithered out of his mouth. They gently brushed her face, her back and even her arms. Anxious, Yuna glanced into Sin's eyes.

{Hold still,} persuaded Sin.

Yuna felt a sharp sting the instant the tendrils touched her wounds, but she held back her scream. She then felt her pain dull out, and she noticed that her wounds were healing more quickly. She quickly assumed that Sin might've noticed that she was scathed.

After about a moment, the pain was gone and her wounds were healed. Sin withdrew his tendrils back inside his mouth as Yuna got onto her feet.

"Thank you," breathed Yuna, "but, about Nero Guado…"

{Considering the abuse he has inflicted on countless innocent lives,} clarified Sin, {I understand why it was necessary for you to kill him.}

"You knew?" exclaimed Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{Did you send him?} asked Sin.

Yuna felt a chill sent down her spine as she shook her head.

{Why didn't you?} interrogated Sin.

"I didn't get a chance to," explained Yuna in guilt, "his followers took him away before I could do it, and they took away Kimahri. I'm sorry."

Yuna glanced into Sin's eyes, and noticed that he seemed concerned.

{Yuna, I hate to tell you this,} said Sin, {but you can no longer believe in Yevon. From this moment on, he will try to destroy you.}

"Because I was labeled a traitor?" asked Yuna.

{In Yevon's eyes,} nodded Sin, {yes.}

There was only a brief moment of silence as Yuna brought her arms together in an attempt to keep herself warm from the cold weather. Strange, it didn't seem that they were in Macalania.

"Can I ask you something?" requested Yuna.

{Very well,} replied Sin.

"Do you know where we are?" asked Yuna.

{We are near the summit of Mount Gagazet,} answered Sin.

"Gagazet?" exclaimed Yuna, "then that means we're near Zanarkand!"

{Correct,} nodded Sin, {but it is too dangerous to venture there at this moment. Do you have any other questions?}

"Shiva and Valefor told me that I have some sort of potential," continued Yuna, "what does that mean?"

{Did you witness the suffering Yevon has inflicted?} asked Sin.

"I did see him send that machina in Operation Mi'ihen," answered Yuna, "and there were these machina that were powered by killing other summoners."

{Exactly,} replied Sin, {but Yevon has inflicted even the worst of agony on all of Spira. The summoners are no exception and that includes Braska.}

"How did my father die?" asked Yuna.

{As far as I've seen,} explained Sin, {Yevon claimed that the Final Summoning holds benefits for Spira. However, the only outcome I've seen from these rituals is nothing but death.}

"You mean the Final Summoning is a trap?" clarified Yuna.

There was a moment of silence before Sin nodded.

"Then," asked Yuna, "should I give up my pilgrimage?"

{That decision is up to you,} answered Sin, {but whatever you do, don't perform the Final Summoning. Understand?}

"I do," nodded Yuna, "I'm not really sure what it is I'm supposed to do about Yevon, but were you saying that you need my help?"

{When the time comes,} replied Sin, {yes.}

"I see," sighed Yuna.

After a moment of silence, Yuna embraced onto Sin's head upon remembering Auron's advice. She figured this is her only chance to tell Sin about her feelings.

"Sin," whispered Yuna, "I'm not sure if you're ok with this, but I love you."

Yuna then placed a kiss on Sin's mouth. The next thing she knew, she felt warmth inside her chest, her heart beating rapidly. To her surprise, Sin leaned in as if to return the kiss, so Yuna held onto him in an effort to keep herself from falling onto her back. After a moment, she broke off the kiss and took a step back while glancing into his eyes.

{Are you sure about this?} asked Sin.

"Yes," answered Yuna, blushing.

To her surprise, Sin's eyes turned green.

{There's nothing wrong with having such feelings, Yuna,} assured Sin, {for that matter, I feel the same way about you.}

"R-Really?" gasped Yuna.

Sin nodded.

"Well, I'm not sure how to explain this," continued Yuna, "but is there some way I can become one with you?"

{You are requesting a soul bond?} clarified Sin.

"What's a soul bond?" asked Yuna.

{A soul bond is a powerful bond, but it is also permanent,} explained Sin, {if you wish to form it, I will have to merge your soul with mine, and I might have to mate with you.}

Yuna felt a chill sent down her spine the instant she knew what Sin meant.

"Have you created a soul bond before?" asked Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{I have bonded with mortals that are worthy of my trust,} explained Sin, {after I've seen what you've been through so far, you have earned it. I am willing to take you as my soul mate at anytime, but the choice is yours, Yuna. Are you willing to accept me as your soul mate?}

Yuna paused as she thought over Sin's offer. She did remember her older sister, Kissa, telling her about one of the teachings of Yevon that is still highly enforced all over Spira; all girls are expected to stay virgins until marriage, and any man who takes her virginity, even by force, instantly makes her his property against said girl's wishes. Yuna actually hated this particular teaching since it forced her to remain a virgin. She then figured that since Yevon has labeled her as a traitor, maybe she can violate this teaching.

Yuna then glanced at Sin and smiled, knowing that he is not as bad as Yevon claimed him to be. She approached him and placed her hand on his face as she gazed into his eyes.

"Yes, I accept," said Yuna.

{Very well,} acknowledged Sin.

Yuna slipped off her underwear before resting on her knees as the tendrils slithered out of Sin's mouth. As she leaned forward to rest on his head, the tendrils started caressing her back, her arms and even her thighs. She couldn't help but lean in to the touch as she felt her loins begin to heat up. She even felt one of the tendrils trace along her chest.

Yuna then unfastened the strap of her halter top before sliding it down, exposing her breasts. Her face was a deep crimson by then as the tendrils continued to caress her. As she traced her hands along the details of Sin's face, she noted that his scent reminded her of the ocean. Yuna gasped when one of the tendrils started brushing over her folds with slick juices beginning to coat her walls. For some reason, it felt really good as she squirmed in pleasure. She arched her back the instant the tendril brushed over her clit, leaving her gasping for air.

Just then, Yuna noticed a thick salmon colored appendage. She knew it was Sin's, even though it did not emerge from his mouth. Wait, is that his…? Well, Yuna knew what it is but she couldn't bring herself to identify it. She did note that its tip was as thick as her ankle and the rest of the length expanded to where it was as thick as one of the claws of Sin's fin. She's not even sure if it will even fit, considering that Sin was massive compared to her, but she was still willing to go through it. Just then, Sin gently stroked her face with the smaller tendrils, and she sighed in relief as she glanced into his eyes.

"Sin," whispered Yuna, "please be gentle with me."

{It's all right, Yuna,} assured Sin.

Yuna rested her head on Sin's face as the tip of the appendage brushed over the entrance of her folds. After a brief moment, it wiggled its way inside her. As the appendage began to sink in, Yuna felt her walls stretch to accommodate for its size. To her surprise, Sin paused at intervals, giving her time to adjust.

As the appendage continued to sink in at intervals, Yuna felt her chest heat up in a pleasant way. She glanced down and noticed that Sin is starting to merge his soul with hers. By then, the thick appendage slid further inside until it couldn't go any further. Meanwhile, the smaller tendrils continued stroking her face, her waist, her back and even her thighs. After a moment, the thick appendage began to gently thrust into Yuna, leaving her squirming with each stroke as the pulsating appendage massaged her walls.

This moment continued on like a blur as Yuna squirmed in pleasure. By then, it was only around a moment or so left before their souls have completed merging. At the same time, Yuna heard Sin let out a soft growl that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind. Perhaps he was also enjoying this experience as much as she was? After a short moment, she just couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Sin," mewled Yuna.

After several more strokes, Yuna clenched her thighs around the appendage as she climaxed. At the same time, she felt it vibrate inside her as Sin finished merging her soul with his, each sharing a fragment of one another's. After a short while, the thick appendage slid out. Sin withdrew his tendrils back into his mouth as Yuna rested on his face, catching her breath. After a moment, she glanced into Sin's eyes.

{The bond is now complete, Yuna,} announced Sin, {from this moment on, you are protected under my power.}

Yuna smiled, knowing that she found someone she can trust. It really was worth defying Yevon's teachings, and it was definitely worth taking Auron's advice.

"Thank you, Sin," said Yuna, "but where do I go from here?"

{I could take you and your guardians to the desert island,} suggested Sin, {there, you can find certain inhabitants that can help you. Until then, I advise you get some rest.}

Yuna snatched her underwear from the ground before climbing onto Sin's fin. The next thing she knew, she was on Sin's back. Yuna began to settle in, sleep clouding her eyes.

Chapter Text

Tidus slowly opened his eyes, only to find that he is lying on a beach in an oasis.

"How did I get here?" thought Tidus, confused.

Just as Tidus was about to sit up, he yelped in surprise the instant he glanced at Patravi, who was standing while looking over him. She then burst into laughter.

"Gimme a break, Patravi!" groaned Tidus.

"Morning, Tidus," sang Patravi, "did you have a nice nap?"

"You didn't need to scare the crap out of me!" protested Tidus.

"Well," replied Patravi, "at least you're still living."

Tidus got to his feet and gazed out into the distance for a brief moment before glancing back at Patravi.

"How did we end up here in this desert?" asked Patravi.

"I'm not really sure," answered Tidus, "let's go find the others!"

Tidus and Patravi then stepped out of the oasis and into the desert. Just then, they came across a huge vicious Zu.

"Whoa!" exclaimed Tidus, "how can a bird grow so big?"

"Beats me," replied Patravi, "let's get him!"

Tidus and Patravi then charged at the Zu. Unfortunately, fighting it was not very easy since the monster was in the air, and it was especially difficult for either of them to get a good hit.

"Get down here," shouted Patravi, "you big Bird-Brain!"

Without warning, the Zu whacked Tidus with its beak, knocking him off his feet. Just then, the Zu got hit by a Thundara spell while Tidus struggled to get back to his feet. Patravi turned to glance at…

"Lulu!" exclaimed Patravi.

"Are you all right?" asked Lulu.

"We're fine," answered Patravi, "but this son of a bitch is not cooperating!"

Just then, Auron arrived into the scene.

"In that case," suggested Auron, "we make it cooperate."

Tidus, Patravi, Auron and Lulu then teamed up and finished off the Zu within a heartbeat.

"Where are the others?" asked Tidus.

"We haven't found them yet," answered Lulu, shaking her head, "we're supposed to stay in one place if we get split up."

Auron trudged north in the desert.

"You can wait here all you want," commented Patravi, glancing at Auron, "because he's not."

Lulu, Tidus and Patravi followed Auron through the desert, until they found Wakka, who was sitting underneath what appears to be a dead machina.

"Hey, Wakka!" shouted Patravi.

Patravi, Tidus, Auron and Lulu approached Wakka, who got back to his feet.

"Where's Yuna?" asked Wakka.

"Sorry Wakka," answered Patravi, "we haven't found her yet."

"Damn it!" shouted Wakka.

Wakka kicked the dead machina.

"First I lose Yuna," complained Wakka, "then I'm ambushed by machina! Some great day I'm having."

Wakka soon joined in as they continued to traverse the desert. Soon, they came across Rikku, who was taking shelter in a tent.

"There you are, Rikku!" chirped Patravi.

"Shh!" whispered Rikku, "Yunie's sleeping!"

Tidus, Patravi, Auron, Wakka and Lulu then glanced at Yuna, who was asleep on a bench.

"Oh," said Tidus, "so maybe we should let her sleep for now?"

Just then, Yuna slowly opened her eyes.

"Morning, sunshine!" sang Patravi.

"Already?" warbled Yuna.

Yuna then looked down and noticed that her halter top was still undone. She yelped as she covered her breasts with her arms.

"Don't look at me!" yelled Yuna.

Tidus, Rikku, Patravi, Auron, Wakka and Lulu looked away from Yuna. She seized the opportunity as she slid her underwear back on and fastened the strap of her halter top back into place. But she already had a sneaky suspicion that her guardians probably found out about her encounter with Sin.

"Ok," announced Yuna, "I'm ready."

Yuna's guardians then glanced back at her.

"First off," asked Patravi, "how did we end up here in this desert? Weren't we in Macalania?"

"Sin brought us here," answered Yuna.

"What does Sin have to do with all of this shit?" questioned Wakka.

"We landed on top of Sin after that fiend sent us through the ice," reminded Lulu, "remember?"

"So basically," assumed Tidus, "Sin saved our lives."

"Yup!" nodded Rikku.

Wakka lowered his head in shame.

"How could this happen?" complained Wakka, "I've always walked the path of Yevon, but now, I'm a traitor."

"Oh, come on, Wakka," replied Patravi, "we only did what we had to do. Besides, Nero is bad news as it is."

"I never trusted Nero either," added Auron, glancing at Yuna, "right now, our immediate concern is Yuna's pilgrimage. Are you willing to go on?"

"Yes," said Yuna, "but I don't think Yevon will allow it."

"The Espers are the ones that give power to the summoners," explained Auron, "not the temples or the teachings. If the temples try to stop us, then we will defy Yevon if we must."

"Whoa!" exclaimed Tidus.

"Dad," warbled Patravi, "are you serious?"

"I can't believe you said that!" exclaimed Rikku.

"Sir Auron?" said Lulu, confused.

"Count me out," objected Wakka, "we have to atone, to make up for the sins we have committed. Of course, it's not like I ever liked Lord Nero; no way I'll ever forgive him for killing Lord Jyscal and for trying to do us all in too, ya? But still, the bunch of us going against Yevon? No way!"

"Well," added Lulu, "we have transgressed and must face our punishment."

"Let's worry about that part later," said Patravi, "right now, we have to save Kimahri! But then, where are we?"

"I know where we are!" chirped Rikku.

"You do?" asked Yuna.

"We're on Bikanel Island," answered Rikku, "there's a place us Al Bhed call Home near here. But, please do me a favor and don't tell anyone about it, especially not Yevonites? Yevon did something really bad to us before."

"So what?" mocked Wakka, "you Al Bhed must've deserved it."

"Oh really?" commented Patravi, "even as a traitor, you are still racist?"

"Young lady," barked Auron, "what did I say about snide comments?"

"He started it!" accused Patravi, pointing at Wakka, who gave her the stink-eye.

Rikku then led Yuna and the rest of the guardians through the desert. Along the way, Wakka pummeled the Alcyones with his blitzball as Tidus and Patravi took turns taking out the Sand Wolves. Auron took out the Mushussus while Rikku dismantled the Mech Guards. Wakka and Tidus teamed up to take down even more Zus as Yuna and Lulu teamed up to burn the Sandragoras with their Fira spells.

After traveling through the desert for what felt like hours, Yuna and her guardians could see a huge building ahead, although they had to traverse even more of the desert to reach it. Then again, perhaps traveling long distances is worth it. Just then, they came across a Sand Worm, which swallowed up Tidus.

"Let him go, you bastard!" yelled Patravi.

Patravi pummeled the Sand Worm with her sword and it wasn't long before Yuna and Auron leapt into the fray. Soon, the Sand Worm belched out Tidus, who was now covered in sticky slime.

"You ok?" asked Patravi.

"Yeah," answered Tidus, "but it does smell awful in there!"

Yuna charged up the Eyestaff before firing a beam of energy at the Sand Worm, which finished it off. Yuna and her guardians then continued their journey towards the Al Bhed settlement. When they reached the base, they suddenly heard gunshots and Rikku frantically sprinted down the dune, prompting Yuna and the rest of her guardians to follow.

To their horror, the settlement was besieged by not only fiends, but also swarms of Drifting Ruin, Insidious Ruin and Menacing Ruin.

"How the fuck did the Ruin manage to infiltrate an Al Bhed settlement?" exclaimed Patravi.

Out of nowhere, one of the Al Bhed collapsed onto the ground, with blood seeping out of a gash in his chest and part of his face was starting to melt away. To add insult to injury, he was coughing out blood. Rikku knelt down next to him. Maybe she wanted to save this guy?

"Keyakku!" panicked Rikku, "Keyakku, fru'c yddylgehk ic? Fru tet drec du oui?"

"Yevon," muttered Keyakku, "Ruin…"

With a final breath, Keyakku went limp.

"Keyakku!" cried Rikku.

Rikku instantly burst into tears. Just then, a bald Al Bhed appeared before her.

"Drana'c hu desa du lno, Rikku," he said, "fa ryja y drnayd du dyga lyna uv!"

"Vydran…" breathed Rikku.

"Uncle Cid?" exclaimed Yuna.

"Wait a minute," gasped Wakka, "you're an Al Bhed?"

"On my mother's side," admitted Yuna, "yes."

"Could this be a war between Yevon and the Al Bhed?" asked Lulu.

"Or worse," replied Cid, "you Rikku's friends? Well, don't just stand there, come on! Let's go kick those Ruin out of our Home!"

"Roger," agreed Tidus.

Just then, a Colossal Ruin rose out of the ground. Without warning, it spewed out burning doll heads into the air, which rained down on the battlefield, forcing Yuna and her guardians to dodge the deadly projectiles. Wakka, Lulu and Yuna teamed up to take out the doll heads on the monster. After that, the Colossal Ruin revealed its nozzles and it began spewing out flames while charging at the party. However, Yuna fired a beam of energy from the Eyestaff at the monster, stunning it in the process. Tidus then jumped up while spinning in midair and landed the blade of his sword into the Colossal Ruin, finishing it off.

"No time to waste," said Auron, "let's go!"

Yuna and her guardians then ventured further into the settlement, taking out a few Chimeras, Bombs and Dual Horns along the way. When they entered a hallway, they heard a nearby intercom activate.

"Drec pedac," announced Cid, "Rikku, Oui nayt sa? Oui ku ihtan, duu! E ys majamehk Rusa! Yht dra veaht fedr ed!"

"Uh-oh," stammered Rikku.

"What did he say?" asked Tidus.

"We have to get underground," answered Rikku, "quickly!"

Rikku then led Yuna and the rest of her guardians deep underground as the vibrations from the surface sent chills down their spines. Before long, they made their way into a huge chamber called the Summoner's Sanctum. There, Dona, Isaaru and all of their guardians were there.

"Dona! Isaaru!" exclaimed Yuna, "what are you guys doing here?"

"Yevon has sent troops to hunt us down after you killed one of his administrators," explained Isaaru, "luckily, the Al Bhed allowed us to seek refuge here."

"Ah," boasted Wakka, "so the Al Bhed have been kidnapping summoners."

"Damn it, Wakka," scolded Patravi, "stop acting so racist already!"

"I don't get it," said Tidus, confused, "I know the Al Bhed are nice people, but why is it that Yevon has such hatred towards them?"

"Well," replied Rikku, "as far as I know, Yevon treats everyone in Spira like slaves, and we don't like that."

"I guess Sin is not the only one who holds a grudge against Yevon," sighed Yuna.

"Sin?" pondered Tidus.

"Sin came to Spira and ended the Machina War a thousand years ago," replied Auron.

"So," added Wakka, "Sin is our punishment for letting things get out of hand, ya?"

"Yes," replied Yuna, "well, we were frightened of Sin at first, but over a thousand years, we learned that Sin is friendly, as far as I know."

Just then, everyone in the Summoner's Sanctum felt a heavy rumble from the surface.

"Ok," said Rikku, "now would be a good time to get out of here."

Chapter Text

Kimahri was sulking while chained to a wall in what appears to be a prison cell. He was silently praying that Yuna is somehow all right. Just then, he heard the prison door open and in came Nero Guado.

"Well, well, well," sneered Nero, "you must be the pesky Ronso that sided with that little heathen summoner!"

"What do you want?" growled Kimahri.

"Good question," marveled Nero, "because I have plans for you. I'm sure that your precious summoner will want to come and save you. Well, that makes my job easier."

Kimahri snarled in anger.

"Once your summoner Yuna comes to save you," continued Nero, "she will die the most agonizing death ever imagined."

Kimahri roared in anger as he violently struggled to free himself, but with no luck.

"That's right," cackled Nero, "struggle helplessly all you want. After all, you are so weak. There's nothing you can do to save your precious summoner."

Nero then marched out of the prison cell as Kimahri lowered his head in sadness.

"No…" muttered Kimahri.

Meanwhile, Cid managed to evacuate all of the survivors, including Yuna and her guardians, aboard an airship that they stored in an underground hangar. Aboard the bridge, a few Al Bhed engineers, including Cid's son, set on to operate the helm.

"Drana'c hu desa," commanded Cid, "ku, ku, ku!"

Brother jumped into the pilot's seat.

"Ec ajanouha uh puynt?" demanded Cid.

"Ajanouha ymeja!" answered an Al Bhed engineer.

Yuna and Patravi walked up to Cid, who was standing before the sphere oscillo-finder.

"Excuse me," said Patravi, "Mr. Cid?"

"What do you want?" sighed Cid.

"When my friends and I escaped Macalania Temple," explained Patravi, "Nero Guado's followers ambushed us and captured Kimahri. I don't know what became of him since then. Could you help us find him?"

"I'm sure you're Ronso friend is still alive," assured Cid, "that's why we're gonna look, using this airship!"

"A-Airship?" exclaimed Wakka.

Just then, Yuna and her guardians felt the airship begin to vibrate.

"Vydran," announced Brother, "nayto du ku!"

"Yeehaw," whooped Cid, "a flight one thousand years overdue!"

Meanwhile, the gate to the underground hangar opened up as the airship rose high out of the hangar and into the air.

"Fruy," exclaimed Brother, "ed sujac!"

"Necg pek," replied Cid, "feh pek!"

The airship soon took off, leaving the wrecked settlement behind.

"All right," declared Cid, "now we blow up Home."

"How?" asked Lulu.

"With one of the airship's weapons," answered Cid.

"Wait a minute!" exclaimed Patravi, "are you saying that there's nothing we can do to save it?"

"We have no choice," replied Cid, "Nayto? Vena!"

Just then, with a push of a button, Brother launched a volley of missiles at the Al Bhed settlement, which triggered a huge explosion. The next thing Yuna knew, the airship shuddered violently in an attempt to escape the aftershock of the explosion that flew out after it. Fortunately, Brother managed to accelerate the airship, and it barely managed to outrun the inferno.

Just then, Brother began breaking down in tears.

"Hu haat vun dayc," assured Cid, "fryd'c kuut ypuid machina ec dryd drao lyh pa piemd yhaf, oui caa?"

Wakka glanced at Rikku, who was beginning to sulk.

"Hey, look, don't get so down," grinned Wakka, "boom! Like happy festival fireworks, ya?"

"You can cram your happy festival up your ass," barked Rikku, "you big meanie!"

Patravi glanced at Tidus.

"I wonder how the Al Bhed managed to build such a huge machina like this one," said Patravi.

"Actually," corrected Tidus, "they found it under the sea, and I helped them pull it out."

Just then, everyone heard Wakka's stomach growling.

"You hungry?" asked Patravi.

"Yeah," answered Wakka, "does this machina have a kitchen?"

"Follow me," suggested Rikku.

Rikku then led Yuna and the rest of her guardians out of the bridge and wandered through the corridors until they ended up in a galley. After placing their orders, they all sat down in a few separate tables.

"I heard from Sir Auron that you were from Zanarkand," said Yuna, "right?"

Tidus nodded as he munched on a bite of the omurice.

"Hold on," interrupted Patravi, "wasn't Zanarkand destroyed a thousand years ago?"

"I guess you could say that," replied Tidus.

"Well," continued Yuna, "I was surprised when I learned that you were the son of Jecht. I only met him ten years ago, and he told me that he was from Zanarkand, too. I thought he was a time traveler at that time."

"Well, we don't have time travel in Zanarkand," replied Tidus, "I can tell you that."

"Maybe there's another Zanarkand somewhere?" suggested Rikku.

"It's actually called New Zanarkand," said Tidus, "but I'm not telling you where it is."

"Ok then," agreed Yuna.

"By the way," added Tidus, "is everyone in Spira really afraid of Sin just because he ended that war a thousand years ago?"

"Well," explained Yuna, "I don't think Sin did anything that would cause all of Spira to hate him like this. I think it's because Yevon has treated him like an abomination."

"I'll bet Yevon's the abomination," commented Tidus.

"Good one, Tidus," giggled Rikku.

After they finished up their meal, Yuna and her guardians marched back to the bridge. There, Yuna and Auron stood before Cid.

"Let me ask you this, Yuna," said Cid, "are you sure you still want to go on that foolish pilgrimage? There's no way I'm going to let those Yevonite bastards send you to your death because of some bullshit teaching!"

"Sin already told me about it," replied Yuna.

"Are you seeking to stop her pilgrimage?" asked Auron.

"I'll do whatever it takes to keep her alive," answered Cid.

"Vydran," interrupted Brother, "fa vuiht Kimahri!"

"Really?" exclaimed Patravi, "where?"

"E femm cruf oui," answered Brother.

At that moment, Brother opened up a display screen, which showed Kimahri chained to a pole with Nero Guado and Maester Kinoc nearby, along with some armed Yevonites.

"Where was that?" asked Tidus.

"That's the palace of St. Bevelle," answered Lulu, "the heart of Yevon."

"Come on, Mr. Cid," requested Patravi, "we should get there as soon as possible! They're going to kill him!"

"Easy, kiddo," objected Cid, "Bevelle's defenses are top-notch."

"Ugh," groaned Patravi, "please don't tell me you're a scaredy-cat! Kimahri's there, so we just go get him, right?"

"Heh," mused Cid, "you got guts there, kid! Cad luinca du Bevelle! Vimm cbaat yrayt!"

Without warning, Yuna and her guardians felt the airship accelerate.

"It'll take a while to get to Bevelle," said Cid, "until then…"

"We prepare for battle," finished Yuna.

"I thought we took care of Nero in Macalania," objected Rikku.

"Nero is an Unsent now," replied Auron.

"I have a bad feeling about this…" muttered Patravi.

Suddenly, everyone onboard felt the airship shudder. Just then, Rin arrived at the bridge.

"We're being attacked from within," warned Rin, "some of the Ruin that attacked Home must've snuck onboard."

"You mean this place is infested now?" exclaimed Tidus.

"Great," grumbled Cid, "there's nothing to do but destroy the ship and all go down together!"

"What?" warbled Yuna.

"Dad, are you kidding?" protested Rikku, "if you crash the ship, we'll never be able to save Kimahri!"

"I have a better idea," suggested Patravi, "why don't you leave the fiends to us?"

"Well then," acknowledged Cid, "we're counting on you, kids."

Yuna and her guardians then raced throughout the airship as they took out the swarms of fiends they could find, including Insidious Ruin, Evil Eyes, Dual Horns and Bombs. Fortunately, Isaaru and Dona were there to help out. After a long while, they managed to clear out most of the infestation as they rested in the cabin. While resting, Auron noticed a huge serpent-like fiend hovering in the sky.

"Huh," commented Auron, "now there's a rare sight."

"Whoa," exclaimed Tidus, "that's huge!"

"Isn't that Evrae?" observed Yuna.

"What's an Evrae?" asked Tidus.

"Evrae is the sacred beast," answered Lulu, "protector of Bevelle."

"Sounds like the red carpet has teeth," commented Patravi.

"Wait," paused Tidus, "does that mean we're close to Bevelle?"

"Exactly," replied Auron, "we're going to fight that thing."

Auron then led Yuna and the rest of her guardians up to the deck, where Evrae was waiting for them. Just then, the side gunports opened up, ready to fire at anytime.

"Ok, boys," declared Cid over the intercom, "we gotta keep our distance, but we also can't let her get too far away. You'll all have to tell me to move, but quickly! This rig ain't so nimble, you hear?"

"You got it," replied Yuna.

Just then, Evrae swooped in and was now in close contact with the airship. It was about to tear apart the metal, but Yuna, Patravi and Tidus charged at it and swung their blades at the monster. However, the monster swiped one of its claws and hit Tidus, creating a gash in his chest. To make matters worse, no one paid attention to the fact that it took in a deep breath, and before they knew it, it spewed out a musky cloud of toxic vapor, which poisoned Yuna, Tidus and Patravi. Rikku wasted no time as she used an Al Bhed Potion on the trio.

"Are you guys ok?" shouted Rikku.

Patravi nodded.

Yuna then backed away from the creature while Auron swung his blade, cutting off one of the creature's hands.

"Go back," shouted Tidus, "farther away!"

"Don't be falling now!" replied Cid.

Within an instant, the ship moved further away from the Evrae, as Lulu casted Firaga spells at the fiend and Wakka pummeled the monster in the head with his blitzball.

"This is it," declared Cid, "I'm hitting her with all we've got!"

Before long, the airship launched a volley of missiles at Evrae, which exploded on contact. However, it seemed that the monster became very angry as it started to charge at the ship. Yuna quickly pulled out the Eyestaff, charged it up, and launched flares into the sky. She then aimed the Eyestaff at the Evrae and the flares rained down on it.

Soon, Evrae fell down into the clouds as it dissolved into pyreflies. Suddenly, the airship began a huge nosedive deep into the clouds, forcing everyone on the deck to hold on as the airship was apparently losing power. Up ahead, Yuna could see Bevelle.

However, the airship was met with volleys of gunshots from the warrior monks and the machina Bevelle had possessed just as it was hovering over the bridge to the palace. Just then, the airship launched its grappling hooks into the bridge, complete with thick cables.

"Now's our chance!" shouted Auron.

On cue, Yuna and her guardians jumped onto the cables and slid down with determination. They then jumped off and made a safe landing just before the cables snapped and the airship made a hasty retreat.

"Hang on, Kimahri!" shouted Patravi.

Without hesitation, everyone sprinted across the bridge towards the altar, where they were holding Kimahri captive. But then, just when they were close to the base of the stairs, Yuna stopped as she felt a burning sensation in her chest, which led her to hesitate. Was this Sin's way of warning her of danger? Tidus soon paused at his race.

"Yuna?" asked Tidus, confused.

"Something tells me," said Yuna, "that we're being set up."

"Are you sure?" pondered Tidus, "wait, it doesn't look like they're trying to stop us…"

Just then, Tidus and Yuna suddenly heard a scream from Rikku.

"Oh, shit!" exclaimed Tidus in panic, as he then raced up the stairs.

"Tidus, wait!" protested Yuna.

Yuna instantly went after Tidus as they raced up the stairs. But after they reached the top…

"My, my," sneered Nero, "for a stubborn summoner, you have nothing but gullible guardians."

Yuna and Tidus then gasped in horror as they realized that the Yevonites are now restraining Patravi, Rikku, Wakka, Lulu and Auron. To make matters worse, rifles were pointed at their heads.

"Kimahri sorry," muttered Kimahri.

"Nero," shouted Yuna, "you bastard! How could you do this?"

"I knew that you would come here to save your precious Ronso friend," boasted Nero, "but today is the day you die."

Yuna shook her head in disapproval as Tidus took a few steps forward.

"Don't you dare lay your dirty hands on my friend!" spouted Tidus.

The next thing Tidus knew, a few more Yevonites aimed their rifles at him.

"Try anything rash and you will have to say goodbye," scolded Kinoc.

Yuna glared at Nero, who seemed to be gloating with pride.

"Kill her," commanded Nero.

A few Yevonites then aimed their rifles at Yuna.

"No way," muttered Patravi.

"I'm sorry," glowered Kinoc, "but this is for Yevon."

Out of the corner of her eye, Yuna noticed that Seymour Guado was standing behind a corner, and she even noticed there was fear and guilt in his eyes. After a brief moment, Seymour walked out into the open.

"Ah," marveled Nero, "so you came here to witness the execution of this treacherous summoner, my dear nephew?"

Seymour glanced at Yuna.

"Seymour," fretted Yuna, "why?"

Seymour didn't say anything, but he scowled at the sight of Yuna's guardians being restrained. After taking a glance at Nero, he walked up to the pole and unlatched Kimahri's bonds, setting him free.

"Seymour," demanded Nero, "what are you doing?"

Without warning, Seymour grasped Nero's neck and began tightening his grip.

"You murderer!" roared Seymour.

The Yevonites gasped in shock to the point where they loosened their grip and lowered their rifles. Patravi, Rikku, Auron, Wakka and Lulu seized this opportunity as they managed to free themselves. They then regrouped up with Tidus, Yuna and Kimahri. However, just as they began to escape, Kinoc and several Yevonites quickly stood in their way.

"You are not going anywhere, traitors!" barked Kinoc.

"Cover your eyes," whispered Rikku.

Yuna and her guardians complied as Rikku tossed a flash grenade in front of Kinoc and the Yevonites, who looked at it like morons. In a matter of seconds, the flash grenade exploded, blinding Kinoc and the Yevonites as Yuna and their guardians made their escape.

Meanwhile, Seymour noted that Yuna and her guardians made their escape as he loosened his grip on Nero's neck. However, Nero's eyes were soon filled with rage.

"You let them escape!" bellowed Nero, "kill him!"

The Yevonites then aimed their rifles at Seymour, forcing him to flee.

Chapter Text

Yuna and her guardians managed to outrun the Yevonites by the time they entered the palace. While they took a moment to rest, Rikku noticed a nearby console, and when she tapped into it, it activated a nearby lift that was supposedly designed to transport them down the tower.

"What's a machina doing in the temple?" asked Wakka.

"I'm not sure," replied Patravi, "although it does come in handy."

Yuna and her guardians then stepped onto the lift, which carried them down to the Cloister of Trials. There, Rikku found another console, which she used to lower a nearby force field.

Yuna then led her guardians into the Cloister of Trials, which appeared to be a huge chasm filled with tunnels that seemed to be holographic. They had to use a moving platform to maneuver through the transparent maze, even when they were so desperate to stay ahead of Nero. Of course, many of the guardians were debating which order they should place the spheres in. Even Patravi and Tidus wished there was an easier way to get to the Chamber of Fayth.

After what seemed to be a very long day, Yuna and her guardians have finally managed to solve the Cloister of Trials as they have now reached the antechamber. But, it seems that it's not over yet.

"Are we going to hide in the chamber this time?" asked Patravi.

"It's better than being sitting ducks," nodded Auron.

Yuna then led her guardians into the Chamber of Fayth, where they settled down to rest. Yuna focused on the vivid spring, even if she had to wait for a little while before Bahamut showed up.

"We meet again, Lady Yuna," said Bahamut.

"We rescued Kimahri," replied Yuna, "but I'm not sure how we're supposed to escape Bevelle or even investigate Yevon at this moment. I'm certain the city is swarming with Yevonites by now."

"There's no need to worry," assured Bahamut, "there are a few insiders that have sided with Master Sin."

"Even Maester Mika?" whispered Yuna.

Bahamut nodded.

"He will explain as much about Yevon as he can," continued Bahamut, "and maybe one day, we will find a weak spot that will bring Yevon crashing down."

"In that case," replied Yuna, "I won't let you down, Bahamut."

Bahamut then summoned a sphere of energy. Yuna touched it and it merged with her. After that, Bahamut disappeared into the spring. Suddenly, the door opened and in came Seymour.

"Damn it, Seymour," demanded Patravi, "what do you want?"

"Maester Mika wishes to speak with you," requested Seymour.

"Why?" asked Lulu.

"No way," disagreed Wakka, "you're just trying to drag us out of here so you can execute us right on the spot, ya?"

"That's not why I'm here," objected Seymour.

"Didn't Seymour free Kimahri and give us a chance to escape?" mentioned Rikku.

"I guess he did," agreed Tidus.

Patravi glanced at Auron.

"Hey Dad," asked Patravi, "do you think we should trust him for once?"

"Even if Yevon is against us," nodded Auron, "Maester Mika is still our ally."

Tidus glanced at Yuna.

"You knew?" asked Tidus.

Yuna nodded.

"We accept your request," concluded Yuna.

"Oh boy," muttered Rikku.

Seymour then led Yuna and her guardians out of the Chamber of Fayth and through hidden passages. Surprisingly, none of the Yevonites spotted them. Before long, Yuna and her guardians found themselves entering a secluded chamber, where Maester Mika was studying a scroll.

"Maester Mika," said Seymour, "I brought the summoner as you requested."

Mika then turned to Seymour.

"Thank you, Seymour," replied Mika, "it would be disastrous if Lord Nero had found them before you did."

Seymour then stepped aside as Mika approached Yuna.

"I assume that you are ready to align yourself with Sin?" asked Mika.

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

"You're kidding," protested Wakka, glancing at Mika, "you sided with Sin? But you're the Grand Maester!"

"We had this alliance since fifty years ago," answered Mika.

"How come you didn't tell anyone?" asked Patravi.

"It was meant to be kept secret from Yevon," explained Mika, "now that you are all here, I hope you don't mind offering assistance."

"Sure thing," smiled Patravi.

"Very well," nodded Mika, glancing at Seymour, "Maester Seymour?"

"We would like a few volunteers to help run the soup kitchens," began Seymour, "and as for Lady Yuna, there is something that Maester Mika would like to show you."

Tidus, Rikku and Patravi walked up to Seymour.

"We'll do the soup kitchens," suggested Rikku.

"All right," replied Seymour, "allow me to escort you, for these soup kitchens are hidden for a reason. All of those impoverished citizens are counting on you."

"They have soup kitchens in Bevelle?" pondered Lulu.

"Yes," replied Auron, "but it is illegal to run one under the name of Yevon."

"Then why do you run them?" asked Wakka.

"It wouldn't be fair to just leave those homeless people starving to death," explained Mika.

Soon, Seymour escorted Tidus, Rikku and Patravi out of the secluded chamber, heading for these soup kitchens. At the same time, Maester Kelk arrived.

"There you are, Maester Kelk," smiled Mika, "what news do you have to report?"

"Emperor Yevon has sent troops to search the city for the summoner," reported Kelk.

"Oh shit," muttered Wakka.

"That's why we're going to lay low for a while," commented Lulu.

Yuna approached Mika.

"Lord Mika, do you know anything about Yevon?" asked Yuna.

"Of course," answered Mika, "for a thousand years, Yu Yevon has been bent on dominating all of life in Spira. I learned that he was the one who started waged the Machina War. Thanks to his selfish desire for conquest, Zanarkand was destroyed."

"But then Sin came to Spira and ended the war," added Yuna, "didn't he?"

"Yes," continued Mika, "but that didn't stop Yevon from taking over Spira. In fact, he injured Sin with a machina when they first met."

"That's horrible," gasped Yuna.

"You are right," nodded Mika, "but that's not the only thing Yevon did to Sin. If only Yevon did not rule over all of Spira, Sin would never have to face such cruel treatment."

Mika turned to face Kelk.

"Why don't you do me a favor and look after this place," requested Mika, "I have something that I would like to show Lady Yuna."

"Very well," agreed Kelk.

Mika glanced back at Yuna.

"Of course," continued Mika, "you can bring along two of your guardians if you wish, Lady Yuna."

Meanwhile, at an undercover soup kitchen, Tidus was peeling potatoes, Rikku was cooking the rice and Patravi was helping out with serving the food to the homeless. They were kept busy for some time until O'aka entered the soup kitchen.

"O'aka," exclaimed Patravi, "what are you doing here?"

"I'm here to make my donation," answered O'aka.

"What for?" asked Patravi.

"Well then, allow me to elaborate," explained O'aka, "you see, I was commissioned by Grand Maester Mika to collect enough Gil for donations to keep these soup kitchens running."

"So that explains why you were selling merchandise," commented Patravi.

"Exactly," replied O'aka, "but please don't tell anyone."

"You betcha," agreed Patravi.

Meanwhile, Mika led Yuna, Auron and Kimahri through hidden passages, avoiding detection by the Yevonites in the process. They managed to enter what appears to be a hangar within an hour. There, they observed a massive machina under construction while hiding in an alcove. Wait, that looks like the machina that sent Luca into panic!

"Lord Mika," whispered Yuna, "wasn't that machina supposed to be destroyed?"

"It was," replied Mika, "that right there is its backup; the Dreadnought Mark 2."

"The Dreadnought Mark 2?" pondered Auron.

"Then," assumed Yuna, "that would mean Sin destroyed Mark 1."

Mika nodded. Yuna continued to observe the workers as they assembled the Dreadnought. To her dismay, they were all skinny to the point where their bones were visible through their skins. She then glanced at Auron, who turned his face away.

"We should get out of here," said Auron, "I've seen enough already."

Mika led Yuna, Auron and Kimahri out of the hangar and ventured through the hidden passages. After a long while, they returned to the secluded chamber. There, Tidus, Rikku, Patravi, Wakka and Lulu were browsing the bookcases.

"Hi, guys," sang Patravi, "how did the tour go?"

"I fully understand Yevon's true nature now," replied Yuna, "maybe it's time for him to go."

"That's true," nodded Mika.

"Do you know what Yevon has been planning to do this whole time?" asked Lulu.

Mika shook his head.

"I haven't figured it out yet," explained Mika, "but I have finished a machina that will allow us to infiltrate Yu Yevon's mind, but it could be very dangerous."

"Maester Mika," requested Yuna, "with your permission, I would like to take on this task."

"No, you may not," disagreed Mika, "do you not value your own life? Sin will not be pleased if you threw it away."

"I see…" sighed Yuna.

"I'll take the risk," declared Kelk, "for the sake of Spira."

"Very well," replied Mika.

The next thing Yuna knew, Mika escorted everyone into a smaller chamber which contained a strange machina, and adjacent to it was a container pod. Seymour turned on the monitor display as Maester Kelk climbed into the container pod.

"Maester Seymour," instructed Mika, "I will leave it you to look after Maester Kelk. Inform me of any significant progress."

"Very well," acknowledged Seymour.

Mika then escorted Yuna and her guardians out of the small chamber as Seymour activated the strange machina. Back in the secluded chamber, Rikku walked up to Mika.

"Hey, Gramps," asked Rikku, "what kind of machina was that?"

"That machina allows the user to enter the mind of another person, as if it would seem like you're dreaming," explained Mika.

"So Master Kelk is infiltrating Yevon's mind?" asked Tidus.

"Correct," agreed Mika, "he is risking his life to search for the valuable information we may need. Yevon does not share his valuable information with anyone; not even those that are loyal to him."

"Well then," replied Auron, "I pray that Maester Kelk succeeds."

Meanwhile, Nero Guado entered the high court and approached a man clad in heavily ornate garments.

"Mighty Yevon," reported Nero, "we still haven't found the traitors."

"Double your search," commanded Yevon.

"Of course," nodded Nero, "but then, I have something to tell you about Grand Maester Mika."

"What of him?" demanded Yevon.

"I believe he might be siding with Sin," mentioned Nero.

Meanwhile, back in the secluded chamber, Yuna and her guardians were waiting for the results from Maester Kelk. Just then, Tidus pulled out a book and began to read it.

"Wait a minute," paused Tidus, "I didn't know Spira had a god."

"Spira has a god?" exclaimed Rikku.

Yuna, Rikku and Patravi gathered around Tidus, who held out the book in front of them.

"Hey Yuna," commented Patravi, "isn't that the tale we heard from Besaid?"

"Why," gasped Yuna, "it is!"

Rikku glanced at Mika.

"Excuse me, Gramps," asked Rikku, "could you tell us more about this god?"

"You can find the answers in the book," answered Mika, "this was a form of research that I did during my time in office."

Rikku glanced at Yuna.

"Yunie?" said Rikku.

"Well," explained Yuna, "according to the tale in Besaid, this god protected the balance of life since Spira's formation. He carried out this duty until a cataclysmic event threatened to destroy all of Spira. This god unleashed all of his power that he had to save Spira from extinction, and then he took to sleep."

"And no one has seen this god since then?" asked Auron.

"Exactly," nodded Mika, "that was only fifty thousand years ago. Yet, the balance of life was stable until a thousand years ago."

"That was when the Machina War took place," said Wakka, "ya?"

"True," replied Mika, "and Yevon's rise to power has disrupted the balance."

"So all we have to do is resurrect this god, right?" suggested Rikku.

"Kimahri think task is not easy," replied Kimahri.

"It is impossible for a mere human to carry out the task," agreed Mika, "only the Espers can resurrect the God of Balance."

"Can I take this book with me?" asked Tidus.

"Go ahead," nodded Mika, "I'm sure it would help you sometime in the future."

Suddenly, Seymour burst through the door to the small chamber.

"Maester Mika," interrupted Seymour, "Maester Kelk is in trouble!"

"What?" exclaimed Patravi.

Yuna thought over what Seymour has just said and realized that Maester Kelk's life could be in danger, so she raced into the small chamber with everyone else following her. Yuna rushed to the container pod, and Master Kelk was still inside.

"What's happening?" demanded Lulu.

"I'm not sure how this is possible," bleated Seymour, "but Maester Kelk is dying!"

"No way," warbled Rikku, "this can't be happening!"

Yuna soon gasped in horror as Maester Kelk was yowling in agony. Blood was seeping out of his eye sockets, and he even coughed up blood. To make matters worse, it seemed that his stomach was opening up, revealing his guts.

"Maester," cried Patravi, "don't leave us! Not now!"

"Yevon," choked Kelk, "h-has found out…"

"We've been discovered?" whispered Rikku in fear.

After a weak wheeze of agony, Maester Kelk collapsed inside the container pod.

"No!" shouted Kimahri.

"Maester Kelk!" shrieked Yuna.

Yuna glanced at Seymour.

"I tried to withdraw him," said Seymour in sadness, "but I couldn't save him."

"So he's dead?" whispered Yuna.

Seymour nodded.

Kimahri latched open the container pod and pulled out Maester Kelk's corpse before laying him onto the floor.

"What do we do now?" asked Tidus.

Seymour removed a sphere from a slot that was on the machina before handing it over to Mika, who then turned to face Yuna and her guardians.

"Lady Yuna, you must leave Bevelle," said Mika, "it is no longer safe."

"What about Maester Kelk?" asked Lulu.

"We should send him first," suggested Auron.

Yuna nodded in agreement. She then pulled out the Eyestaff and performed a brief sending for Kelk Ronso. Mika then led Seymour, Yuna and her guardians out of the small chamber. However, just as they opened the door, Nero and Kinoc were waiting for them, along with several Yevonites.

"Maester Mika," bellowed Kinoc, "you are under arrest for conspiracy and treason against Yevon!"

"Don't you guys ever give up?" spouted Tidus.

"Maester Seymour," continued Kinoc, "you are hereby excommunicated from the order of Yevon."

"As for Summoner Yuna," added Nero, "you and your guardians are all to be executed!"

Rikku tossed a flash grenade, which blinded Kinoc, Nero and the Yevonites when it exploded.

"This way," commanded Mika, "hurry!"

Chapter Text

Mika, Seymour, Yuna and their guardians were scurrying for their lives through the city. However, they were relentlessly pursued by not only Yevonites, but also Insidious Ruin, Drifting Ruin and Bitch Babies, forcing Yuna and her guardians to fight back. Wakka pummeled the Drifting Ruin that revealed their weak spots with his blitzball as Lulu zapped the Bitch Babies with her Thundaga spells. Yuna, Auron, Tidus and Patravi sliced through the Insidious Ruin with their blades as Kimahri and Rikku dealt with the Yevonites.

By the time they reached the Highbridge, Mika, Seymour, Yuna and her guardians took a moment to rest. During that time, Mika approached Yuna with a sphere in his possession.

"Yuna," requested Mika, "should anything happen to me, you must give this to Sin, and tell him what has happened."

"Lord Mika…" breathed Yuna.

Yuna quickly tucked the sphere into her pocket before she and Mika regrouped with the others. They were about to cross the Highbridge when swarms of Colossal Ruin suddenly emerged from the ground, blocking their path.

"Get out of the way," shouted Patravi, "you dipshits!"

"This must be Yu Yevon's doing," muttered Mika.

"Wait," paused Rikku, "what?"

"Yu Yevon has the power to craft the souls of the dead into the Ruin," explained Mika, "the unholy servants of death."

"So that's where the Ruin came from!" exclaimed Tidus.

"Does Sin know?" asked Yuna.

Mika nodded.

Seymour, Yuna and her guardians were about to charge into battle when suddenly…

"This has gone too far, traitors!" bellowed a voice from far behind.

Everyone turned to notice that a man in heavily ornate garments stepped out onto the Highbridge, followed by Nero, Kinoc and several Yevonites.

"Is that Yu Yevon?" muttered Lulu.

"You must be the treacherous summoner than conspired with Sin," accused Yevon, pointing at Yuna, "true?"

Yuna didn't say anything, but she fidgeted in fear. Yevon then made a glance at Mika.

"Maester Mika," bellowed Yevon, "I should've known you were conspiring against me, and you have even allied yourself with Sin. These are traitorous and unforgivable crimes that disturb the order of which I established!"

Mika glanced at Yuna.

"Yuna," whispered Mika, "you must get out of here, now."

Mika then stepped toward Yu Yevon.

"Wait," gasped Yuna, "you're not…"

"Go on without me," insisted Mika, "you are Spira's only hope."

Just then, two of the Yevonites grabbed Mika by the arms and dragged him into the open. Kinoc pulled out his rifle and aimed it at Mika's head as the Yevonites restrained him.

"Any last words before your execution?" interrogated Nero.

Mika didn't say anything, but he glanced at Seymour, Yuna and her guardians in despair. They all wanted to step in and save him, but then realized that there are several more Yevonites aiming their rifles at them, ready to shoot if they tried to take even a single step. At that moment, all they could do was glance at Mika in fear.

"Goodbye," whispered Mika.

Mika soon turned away to face Kinoc. Yevon made a gesture, and then Kinoc shot Mika between the eyes, blood spurting out in the process.

"Mika," screamed Patravi, "no!"

The Yevonites then let Mika drop to the ground. Already, tears were welling up in Yuna's mismatched eyes, as she felt rather guilty for not stepping in to save Mika. Just then, Yevon glanced at Yuna and her guardians.

"Let this be a lesson for all of you," bellowed Yevon, "you shall not defy me under any circumstances, for they will cost you your life! Now, get ready to say goodbye to the summoner."

Yuna instantly gasped in horror as the Yevonites aimed their rifles at her. However, Patravi and Tidus stepped in front of Yuna and took a defensive stance.

"Don't even think about it," shouted Patravi, "you son of a bitch!"

Yuna glanced at Seymour, who has closed his eyes and clenched his fists as if he was frustrated. The next thing she knew, he pulled out his staff and cast a Firaga spell that formed a barrier around Yevon, Kinoc, Nero and the Yevonites.

"Seymour?" exclaimed Tidus.

"Let's go!" declared Seymour.

Yuna and her guardians seized the opportunity to escape; however, the Colossal Ruin were still blocking the path. Seymour waved his staff and began chanting. Just then, Yuna and her guardians glanced at an anchor that appeared out of the sky and pulled out a huge bizarre creature from the ground.

"Is that an Esper?" pondered Rikku.

Seymour glanced at the creature in a calm manner.

"Please help us," he persuaded.

"Right away," nodded the creature, "Seymour."

The next thing Yuna knew, it screeched as it conjured powerful energy explosions that vaporized the Colossal Ruin one by one, its eyes flashing green before each launch. Before long, the path was finally clear, but the Firaga barrier was beginning to die down.

"Thank you," said Seymour, "my dear friend."

Seymour dismissed the creature before leading Yuna and her guardians down the Highbridge.

After a long while, Seymour, Yuna and her guardians managed to escape to the Calm Lands. They soon arrived at an Al Bhed Travel Agency. While settling in for the night, Seymour, Yuna and her guardians were munching on oyakodon.

"I didn't think Yevon could be this brutal," said Tidus.

"Me neither," replied Patravi, "but why did they have to kill Mika? He could've made a great ally."

"Maester Mika sacrificed himself for Yuna," sighed Kimahri, "we must protect her."

Meanwhile, Yuna has finished her meal as she faced Seymour.

"Yes, Lady Yuna?" said Seymour.

"I didn't know you were a summoner," replied Yuna.

"Oh," marveled Seymour, "well, I guess it's because I kept it a secret. It seems that you've taken an interest in Anima."

"I guess so," said Yuna, "where did you find it?"

"When I was young," explained Seymour, "I was stranded in a deserted temple somewhere in Spira after the Ruin attacked the boat I was on while it was sailing to Kilika. That deserted temple was where Anima found me. Thanks to her, I managed to survive."

"You really are lucky," smiled Yuna, "are you going to come with us?"

Seymour shook his head.

"No," replied Seymour, "I should probably send myself to exile. But, there is one thing I'd like to teach you before I go."

Seymour then led Yuna toward a rock spire southwest of the agency, where he began teaching her the Flare spell. After what seemed to be an hour, Yuna managed to learn the spell. She then summoned Bahamut into the field, even if there were no fiends around.

"Is something the matter, Lady Yuna?" asked Bahamut.

"I have bad news," reported Yuna, "Yu Yevon found out that Maester Mika was spying on him. Because of that, Mika is dead."

"I've heard," muttered Bahamut, "do you wish for me to inform Sin of this incident?"

Yuna nodded.

"Very well," acknowledged Bahamut, "at this moment, I fear Yevon might tighten his reign on all over Spira. I advise you to be careful from now on."

"Ok," said Yuna.

After Yuna dismissed Bahamut, she and Seymour regrouped with Auron, Tidus, Rikku, Patravi, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu.

"Now that Mika is gone," asked Patravi, "what do we do?"

"We could head for the ruins of Zanarkand," answered Auron, "but I'm sure that Sin will try to stop us."

"Why would he do that?" pondered Tidus.

"You'll understand later," said Auron, "but I can tell you there is an unsent named Lady Yunalesca. She awaits the arrival of the summoners in the ruins."

Yuna glanced at Seymour.

"Well," said Seymour, "I should get going. It seems that the fate of Spira is now in your hands, Lady Yuna."

Seymour then left the agency, leaving Yuna and her guardians behind to rest for the night.

Yuna found herself in what's supposed to be the Calm Lands, but she could see massive machina firing at one another up ahead. To add insult to injury, she could see countless soldiers slaughtering each other, spilling blood and guts everywhere. Wait, is she in the middle of the Machina War? Realizing that this battlefield is not safe, Yuna frantically dodged as much of the projectiles as she possibly could as the land is heavily bombarded by explosions.

Yuna heard of stories about the Machina War when she was young, but she never thought she'd actually witness it in person. She has considered participating in battle, until she realized that no one was focusing on her, as if she was invisible.

"Wait," thought Yuna, "it's not a dream, it's a memory!"

Yuna paused in her tracks as she started thinking. If this was a vision of the past, then whose memory was this? Her thoughts were interrupted when she suddenly noticed a massive machina entering the battlefield. Just then, she saw Bahamut come out of the sky and take out the machina just before it launched its weapon.

"This isn't good," muttered Bahamut to himself, "if this continues, all of Spira might be destroyed. I must summon the others to Gagazet."

Yuna followed Bahamut across the battlefield as soon as he took off, avoiding the collateral damage along the way. The next thing she knew, she found herself in what appears to be a shrine somewhere near the summit of Mount Gagazet. For some reason, she recognized the architecture and the pattern on the ground, which seemed so familiar…

"Wait a minute," thought Yuna, "isn't this the place where Sin formed the soul bond with me? Then that means…"

Yuna's thoughts were interrupted when Bahamut arrived, along with several more Espers. Among them, Yuna recognized Valefor, Ifrit, Ixion, Shiva, Bahamut and Leviathan, but she also saw a few more Espers that she has never seen before.

"Exodus," said Bahamut, "do you have any news?"

"Zanarkand is no more," reported Exodus, "Yevon has used Vegnagun to destroy it. However, I have evacuated as much survivors as possible before it happened. I even gave them an opportunity to create a new Zanarkand as far away from Spira as possible, but I believe preventing Yevon from discovering it will be a difficult task."

"Shall I help you protect the survivors?" proposed Leviathan.

"I humbly accept your assistance, Leviathan," agreed Exodus.

"That bastard Yevon is nothing but trouble," commented Ifrit.

"We all knew he was the one who started the war," added Valefor, "he seems to be thirsty for power."

"We have tried hard," announced Bahamut, "but this has gone too far. If we stand by and do nothing, the balance of life and all of Spira will be no more."

"Not even our power could end the war?" said Shiva.

Bahamut shook his head.

"We have only one option," declared Bahamut, "we must resurrect the God of Balance."

Yuna gasped in surprise the instant she heard Bahamut's announcement.

"Wait," thought Yuna, "resurrect the God of Balance?"

Yuna still remembered the tale from Besaid.

"I see," sighed Exodus, "well, it has been forty-nine thousand years."

"Everyone," commanded Bahamut, "get into position."

The Espers then gathered in a circle around the huge pattern on the ground and knelt down. Yuna then heard the Espers chanting while summoning energy spheres that locked into the ground. Her eyes widened in amazement as the pattern on the ground began to glow. Without warning, she felt a huge earthquake take place as a powerful energy sphere appeared in the middle of the pattern as it emitted a huge gust of wind that forced Yuna to stand her ground. After a few seconds, a massive piece of the stony ground began to crumble away as she saw a massive creature emerge from underneath. She somehow recognized the creature as it let out a growl that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind.

"Sin!" gasped Yuna.

Yuna definitely remembered that Sin came to Spira a thousand years ago. She never thought that she could witness Sin's arrival before her very eyes. Could this be one of Sin's memories?

Before she knew it, Yuna woke up from this dream, but she silently reminded herself that she has seen a vision of the past. As the morning sun rose to greet the Calm Lands, Yuna debated whether she should tell her guardians about the dream. But then, she assumed that they wouldn't believe her, so she decided to keep it to herself.

After gearing up, Yuna and her guardians left the travel agency to cross the Calm Lands. Along the way, Lulu defeated the Flame Flans with either her Blizzaga or Waterga spells as Wakka pummeled the Nebiros with his blitzball. Auron fought the Shreds as Tidus sliced open the Skolls. Rikku, Kimahri and Patravi teamed up to take down the Coeurls, Ogres and Anacondaurs as Yuna practiced casting her Flare spells on the Malboros and the Chimera Brains.

However, one Malboro ambushed the entire party with its bad breath. As a result, Lulu couldn't cast any spells, Wakka and Tidus had a hard time getting a good hit and Rikku was staggering in dizziness. Luckily, Yuna, Auron and Kimahri were the only ones that didn't get hit. As Kimahri performed a Lancet on the Malboro, Yuna cast several Esuna spells on everyone.

"Are you guys ok?" asked Yuna.

"I've seen worse days," answered Tidus.

Yuna soon finished off the Malboro with another Flare spell.

"Hey," asked Rikku, "can't we rest for a minute?"

"We haven't even reached Mount Gagazet yet," replied Lulu.

"Fine," sighed Rikku, "I'll think on the way."

Chapter Text

Yuna and her guardians arrived at the gate to Mount Gagazet. There, they saw plenty of Ronso scattered about the mountain. However, before they could pass through the gate, they were suddenly stopped by Biran and Yenke.

"Excuse me," objected Patravi, "but we're on a pilgrimage!"

"Summoner may not pass," bellowed Biran.

"Guardians may not pass," added Yenke, "Kimahri may not pass!"

"Why not?" demanded Yuna.

"Summoner is the reason why Maester Kelk is dead," accused Biran.

"You've got to be kidding me!" barked Tidus.

"Yuna had nothing to do with Maester Kelk's death," protested Lulu, "Maester Kelk sacrificed his life to reveal the truth about Yevon."

"Is that so?" declared Biran, "then Biran challenge summoner to battle!"

"What?" exclaimed Wakka.

"No," protested Kimahri, "let me prove my strength!"

"Heh," mocked Biran, "think you will win? Kimahri shame Ronso brothers! You not forget who took your horn!"

"Kimahri never beat brother Biran," added Yenke, "never win!"

"This time," countered Kimahri, "I win, I will win!"

"Very well, little Kimahri," replied Biran, "then Biran rend you asunder!"

"Hornless!" taunted Yenke, "hornless!"

Without warning, Kimahri pulled out his spear and charged at Biran and Yenke, and it instantly turned into a brawl. Kimahri may have gotten a few beatings from Biran and Yenke in the process, but he eventually turned the tides against both of them as he kicked Biran in the stomach, which sent him flying into Yenke, leaving Kimahri as the winner.

Biran and Yenke stared at Kimahri in defeat, but soon, they seem to be enlightened as they got back to their feet.

"Strong is Kimahri," smiled Biran, "Biran is happy. Sacred Mount Gagazet, I honor the name of strong warrior who defeats Biran. Remember always, Gagazet; that name is Kimahri!"

Biran then turned to face Yuna.

"Summoner Yuna," asked Biran, "are you willing to risk your life for all of Spira?"

"Yes," answered Yuna.

"Your will is stronger than steel," replied Biran, "tempered steel that even the Ronso could not hope to bend. We will honor the day that Maester Kelk sacrificed his life for the sake of all of Spira. The sacred heights of Gagazet welcome you."

"Thank you," smiled Yuna.

Yuna and her guardians began to climb Mount Gagazet. The journey was quite brutal, considering that it was cold and snowy. While hiking through the mountain trail, Lulu cast Waterga spells against the Imps while Patravi and Tidus took turns taking out the Bandersnatches. Yuna assisted Auron in taking down the incoming Bashuras and Nidhoggs while Rikku, Wakka and Kimahri teamed up to take down the Grenades and Grats.

After a long hike through the mountain, Yuna and her guardians reached the summit. There, they noticed a valley that used to hold a temple that was probably destroyed a long time ago.

"Is there an Esper down there?" asked Tidus.

"No," answered Auron.

Yuna began to climb down the steps of the cliff.

"Yuna," demanded Auron, "where are you going?"

"I remember this place," replied Yuna, "Sin brought us here before we ended up in Bikanel Island."

"Oh," chirped Rikku, "so you want to explore it?"

Yuna nodded. She then led her guardians down the steps into the shrine ruins. There, they noticed what appears to be a huge crater. While exploring the ruins, Patravi, Tidus, Kimahri and Wakka gazed at the writings on the wall.

"Wow," exclaimed Patravi, "this place looks ancient!"

"I wish I knew who built this place," replied Wakka.

Yuna approached Tidus, Patravi, Kimahri and Wakka.

"I also saw this place in a dream last night," admitted Yuna.

"Really?" chirped Patravi.

"In the dream," explained Yuna, "I was in the middle of the Machina War. I followed Bahamut here and several more Espers arrived, including a few that I've never seen before. The dream ended when the Espers performed a ritual that resurrected the God of Balance, according to Bahamut. But then, I think it might be a vision of the past."

"Oh yeah," mused Patravi, "besides that tale in Besaid, Maester Mika did tell us that this god disappeared fifty thousand years ago."

"But he also said that only the Espers can resurrect him," replied Wakka, "ya?"

"That's right," nodded Yuna.

"Then maybe the God of Balance was already resurrected?" suggested Tidus.

Yuna nodded.

"Yuna holds truth," said Kimahri, "but Kimahri don't see god."

"In that case," replied Yuna, "we ask Sin. Speaking of which…"

Still remembering her encounter with Sin, Yuna walked out into the open and her guardians gazed at her in confusion.

"Sir Auron," announced Yuna. "there's something that I really want to tell you. Whatever happens, please don't get angry with me."

"I won't," replied Auron.

"Guys," interrupted Rikku, "five o'clock!"

Yuna and her guardians suddenly turned their heads to where Rikku was pointing, and they gasped in horror when they laid their eyes on Nero Guado.

"I've been looking all over for you little heathens," sneered Nero.

"You were following us, weren't you?" demanded Tidus.

"I see that you are planning to perform the Final Summoning, right?" gloated Nero.

"No," whispered Yuna.

Nero jumped down to the ruins and approached Yuna.

"Let me accompany you to Zanarkand," proposed Nero, "but first, let me take your virginity like I took your sister's."

Yuna instantly pulled out her Eyestaff and aimed it at Nero.

"Don't you dare touch me!" spat Yuna.

"What a shame," scolded Nero, "you're supposed to be a good girl like your sister was."

"Don't you ever speak of her like that!" yelled Yuna.

"She deserved it for being a tease," mocked Nero.

Enraged, Yuna charged up her Eyestaff before firing a beam of energy at Nero, which sent him flying into a wall.

"You bitch," bellowed Nero, "naughty girls like you should be punished!"

Without warning, Nero summoned several Menacing Ruin, and they merged with him. To everyone's horror, Nero transformed into what appears to be a giant mutated hybrid infused with the Ruin.

"Everyone out of the way," commanded Yuna, "I'll deal with him!"

Yuna's guardians skittered out of the way as Nero began launching burning doll heads at Yuna, but she was able to dodge them without trouble. After casting a couple of Flare spells, Yuna summoned Bahamut into battle. They both teamed up to fight Nero as he summoned swarms of Insidious Ruin and Bitch Babies into battle. However, Lulu joined in as she casted plenty of Thundaga spells at the Bitch Babies as Tidus and Patravi sliced through the Insidious Ruin. After a short while, Bahamut anchored himself to the ground and fired a powerful beam of energy from his mouth which finished the battle.

Nero collapsed to the ground in pain as he returned to normal. Yuna then performed the sending, and Nero dissolved into pyreflies in a matter of seconds. With Nero finally eliminated, Yuna dismissed Bahamut. Just then, Auron approached her.

"You said that you wanted to tell us something," reminded Auron, "didn't you?"

"Well…" stammered Yuna.

Yuna glanced at Tidus, Patravi, Kimahri, Wakka, Lulu and Rikku, who were gazing at her in curiosity. Assuming that they were getting suspicious, she took a deep breath.

"I-I mated with Sin," confessed Yuna, "and I liked it."

Yuna's guardians instantly gaped in surprise.

"You did what?" exclaimed Wakka.

"Yuna, why didn't you tell us earlier?" scolded Lulu.

"I'm sorry, Lulu," replied Yuna.

"So," asked Rikku, "did it happen before Bikanel Island?"

Yuna nodded.

"Why would you do that?" demanded Patravi.

"Because I trust Sin," explained Yuna, "not only did I mate with him, but we also formed a soul bond. According to Sin, it is a powerful bond that lasts permanently. With it, I'm protected under his power. Sin offered to form it after I told him my feelings, and I accepted his offer."

"Are you ok with this?" asked Auron.

"Yes," nodded Yuna, "I have no regrets."

Yuna and her guardians climbed out of the ruins and headed for the mountain cave. Inside, they had to solve some simple puzzles to move forward. Along the way, Wakka pummeled the Ahrimans with his blitzball as Rikku and Kimahri took out the Grendels. Yuna and Lulu teamed up to burn the Mandragoras as Auron teamed up with Tidus and Patravi to combat the Behemoths and Dark Flans. There were a few times when Yuna sent Tidus, Wakka, Rikku and Patravi to explore the flooded tunnels, where they had to solve a couple of underwater puzzles as they fought the Maelspikes, Achelouses and Splashers.

After finishing the last puzzle, Yuna and her guardians reached the exit of the cave and are now at a cliff overlooking Zanarkand. After a moment, they meandered down the slope until they arrived at the outskirts of the ruins, where they began to take some time to rest. While Patravi, Auron, Rikku, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu were sitting around a campfire, Tidus and Yuna were standing on top of a hill as they gazed at the ruins.

"I heard that this Zanarkand was destroyed a thousand years ago," said Tidus, "but I honestly didn't think I'd have the chance to see it for myself."

"Me neither," replied Yuna, "but I guess it all comes down to this."

"So," asked Tidus, "is this the place where you're going to perform the Final Summoning?"

"I'm not going to do it," answered Yuna.

"Why not?" pondered Tidus.

"According to Sin," explained Yuna, "the Final Summoning is a trap, and my father died here."

"Well then," said Tidus, "since you came all the way to Zanarkand, what are you planning to do instead?"

"Yevon has ruled all over Spira for a thousand years," continued Yuna, "and yet, he has not even passed away. I'll bet Yevon has made the Final Summoning mandatory so that he can kill all of those summoners to keep himself from dying."

"Man," replied Tidus, "he sure is selfish for an emperor."

"I know," said Yuna, "but I can't let Yevon keep on taking away those innocent lives, so I've decided to erase the Final Summoning for good."

"That sounds rather challenging," replied Tidus, "but I guess it's worth it."

Yuna nodded before she and Tidus gazed back at her guardians, who were now getting back to their feet.

"You guys ready?" asked Tidus.

"Yep," answered Patravi, "we're going in."

Then, Yuna led her guardians down the road to the dome in Zanarkand, which was a long trek ahead. They were hoping to reach the dome with ease, but when they were just a few feet close, a giant serpent-like creature suddenly rose out of the water and blocked their way.

"Hey," shouted Patravi, "get out of the way, you asshole!"

"None shall pass!" bellowed the creature.

Yuna's guardians, except for Auron, charged at the creature and engaged in battle. Yuna took a brief moment to gaze at the creature, and then she realized that she has seen this creature before.

"It's Leviathan!" gasped Yuna.

"You mean the Water Esper?" asked Auron.

"Yes," answered Yuna, "but why is he attacking us?"

"Why don't you ask him?" suggested Auron.

Yuna nodded in agreement. Without hesitation, Yuna scurried toward the fray and got in between Leviathan and her own guardians.

"Stop it," shouted Yuna, "all of you!"

"What do you mean?" demanded Patravi.

"That's an Esper!" explained Yuna.

"What?" exclaimed Rikku.

Yuna then turned to face Leviathan, who seemed confused.

"Leviathan, please forgive us," pleaded Yuna, "I didn't mean for this to happen."

"That Esper's name is Leviathan?" pondered Lulu.

"I forgive you, summoner," said Leviathan, "but you must leave Zanarkand while you have the chance."

"But what about the pilgrimage?" asked Wakka.

"Forget the pilgrimage," explained Leviathan, "didn't Sin warn you what will happen if you perform the Final Summoning?"

"What are you talking about?" demanded Tidus.

Rikku approached Auron.

"Hey, you know something, don't you?" interrogated Rikku, "spill the beans!"

"Let Leviathan explain everything to you," said Auron.

"The Final Summoning is a lethal ritual," explained Leviathan, "and it occurs when the tainted lady Yunalesca gives the summoner a familiar in the form of an energy sphere like the ones we Espers summon. Once you receive it, Yunalesca will have you summon it before her eyes. But, the familiar is actually a demon spirit that will extract your soul when summoned."

Yuna's guardians instantly gasped in horror.

"You mean we were preparing to send Yuna to her death?" asked Patravi.

Leviathan nodded.

"So that's how my father died," muttered Yuna.

Yuna turned to face Auron.

"You knew about this," cried Yuna, "didn't you?"

"If I had told you the truth," said Auron, "would that really have stopped you from coming?"

"What about my old man?" demanded Tidus.

"It upset Braska when Leviathan explained the details," explained Auron, "but when he tried to destroy the demon spirit, Yunalesca killed him right on the spot. After Braska died, Jecht and I were angry at Yunalesca for deceiving us and taking away our close friend, so we tried to avenge him. Sadly, it didn't go well. I managed to make it out alive, but Jecht wasn't so lucky."

"You mean my old man is dead?" gasped Tidus.

Auron nodded.

Tidus then turned away from everyone and let out a loud scream of agony as Yuna glanced at him in concern.

"How could this happen?" he screamed, "I wanted to find my old man and bring him home safe and sound."

Tidus then collapsed onto his hands and knees and he started crying. Auron walked up to Tidus and placed his hand on his shoulder.

"I'm sorry for your loss," whispered Auron, "but I'm sure Jecht would've wanted you to live on."

Meanwhile, Yuna turned to face Leviathan.

"Is there a way I can erase the Final Summoning?" asked Yuna.

"I have thought of one particular solution," answered Leviathan, "for that, I suggest you will need Sin's Eyestaff. Do you have it?"

Yuna pulled out the Eyestaff.

"You mean this?" clarified Yuna.

Leviathan nodded.

"That staff was crafted by an ancient civilization from over fifty thousand years ago," explained Leviathan, "and Sin imbued it with his power by using his eyes. Even if you destroy the demon spirit, you will have to fight Yunalesca, but you might need our assistance. Are you prepared for battle?"

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

"Then I will inform Master Sin right away," concluded Leviathan.

Leviathan then departed for somewhere else as Yuna and her guardians approached the entrance.

"I'm not going back," said Yuna.

"Kimahri knows," replied Kimahri.

Chapter Text

Yuna led her guardians into the dome. It was quite a long trek through the maze-like path inside before they managed to reach the Hall of the Summoning. There, they were greeted by a strange woman that was wearing what appears to be a skimpy outfit.

"Yunalesca," whispered Yuna.

"Welcome to Zanarkand," announced Yunalesca, "I congratulate you, summoner; you have completed your pilgrimage. I will soon bestow you with that which you seek, for the Final Summoning will be yours. Now, fertilize the land and dispel sorrow."

The woman then summoned a black energy sphere, which is now floating in front of Yuna. Yuna glanced at her guardians. Not surprisingly, it looked like they were worried. She then glanced back at the demon spirit's protoform.

Yuna really didn't want to go through this, knowing that Sin would be struck by grief if she did. She even thought of how her guardians would be upset by her passing. She then gazed at Yunalesca, who was probably waiting for her to take the spirit.

Just then, upon remembering Leviathan's advice, Yuna snapped out of her thoughts and stepped back from the demon spirit. There's no way she's going to throw away her soul so easily. She pulled out Sin's Eyestaff and began charging it up.

"What are you doing?" demanded Yunalesca, "take the Final Summoning!"

Yuna didn't listen as she fired a beam of energy at the demon spirit. To her surprise, the demon spirit disintegrated.

"Hey," chirped Rikku, "it worked!"

Unfortunately, Yunalesca did not take this very lightly.

"You dare refuse the Final Summoning?" roared Yunalesca, "do you even realize what you have done? You have destroyed the only way to dispel sorrow and with it, Spira's only hope!"

"You're wrong," objected Yuna, "the Final Summoning is a false tradition that should be thrown away."

"No," countered Yunalesca, "it is our only hope. I should've known you were as defiant as your father was. He could've given his life to give that hope to the people, so they would forget sorrow."

"My father wanted to make Spira's sorrow go away," argued Yuna, "not just cover it up with lies!"

"Sorrow cannot be abolished," countered the woman, "it is meaningless to try."

"I will live my own life," continued Yuna, "I will defeat sorrow in my father's place. I will stand my ground and be strong, and someday I will conquer it. And I will do it without false hope!"

"Pitiful creature," sighed Yunalesca, "you leave me no choice but to free you before you drown in your sorrow. It is better for you to die in hope than to live in despair. Let me be your liberator."

Without warning, Yunalesca's hair transformed into tentacles, and then the tentacles dug into the ground and rose her up into the air before a huge demonic face emerged from the floor.

"Oh shit," muttered Patravi.

"Now," declared Auron, "this is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your own hands!"

"I will avenge my old man," shouted Tidus, "for his own sake!"

"Yuna needs Kimahri," added Kimahri, "Kimahri protect Yuna."

"I'm ready for action!" said Rikku.

"I can't believe we're doing this," muttered Wakka.

"There is no going back," replied Lulu.

"Here goes nothing!" added Patravi.

Yuna and her guardians then charged into battle. Tidus, Auron and Patravi slashed at Yunalesca with their blades as Kimahri launched a Fire Breath. Wakka pummeled Yunalesca with his blitzball as Lulu casted Flare spells. Yunalesca, on the other hand, continuously used her tentacles to bite them, forcing Rikku to toss out an Al Bhed Potion every once in a while. Fortunately, Yuna helped take out the tentacles with her turquoise blade.

Yuna and her guardians were hoping that they would defeat Yunalesca with ease, but then she suddenly noticed swarms of Drifting Ruin emerging from the ground.

"What the fuck?" exclaimed Patravi, "she has the Ruin on her side!"

"Don't let that distract you," yelled Auron.

That was easier said than done, because the Drifting Ruin have been shooting fragments of a hazardous substance that everyone had to dodge. Wakka and Lulu shifted their attention to the Drifting Ruin, and attacked the ones that have revealed their weak spots as everyone else continued the battle. Unfortunately, more Drifting Ruin keep emerging from the ground as if it would never end. To make matters worse, several Colossal Ruin and a swarm of Menacing Ruin began to emerge from the ground.

"How could this be happening?" whispered Yuna.

"Yevon forces the Final Summoning," explained Auron, "so he can absorb the souls of the summoners to fuel himself."

"So that explains why he has been living for over a thousand years!" exclaimed Patravi, "that's terrible!"

Without warning, the Colossal Ruin and Yunalesca came together and unleashed a powerful sonic boom that knocked everyone cold.

"You have done your purpose," Yunalesca told the Ruin, "now I can take care of the summoner without any trouble."

To everyone's surprise, the Ruin dived back into the ground, but they were all in bad shape. Yuna wasn't faring any better herself. She could see her guardians struggle to recuperate, but their critical injuries made it very difficult.

Yuna once again felt her chest burn up, but as she struggled to get back onto her feet, she suddenly felt a tentacle lifting her into the air. She gasped in horror once she realized that she is now up close to Yunalesca's demon-like face.

"I offered you the Final Summoning, summoner," hissed Yunalesca, "but since you refused it, you leave me no choice."

Yunalesca pulled out a tentacle that has a demon face on its tip as it hovered over to Yuna's chest. Her guardians gasped in horror as they now see what Yunalesca was going to do.

"Yuna," shouted Tidus, "no!"

"Don't do it!" cried Patravi.

"We've failed…" muttered Auron.

"Please," pleaded Rikku, "don't take her away!"

"You can't do this!" protested Wakka.

"Kimahri will never forgive you!" growled Kimahri.

"Let her go right now!" yelled Lulu.

Yunalesca ignored their pleas as she started to use the tentacle to begin extracting Yuna's soul out of her chest. The next thing she knew, she was screaming in agony. She has desperately wanted to avoid this fate, but now it seems that she was going to die. The thought of Sin feeling sad over her death scared her even more.

Just when Yunalesca was close to completing the deed, Yuna suddenly felt a surge of strange energy flow throughout her body, and she even heard Sin's voice in her head. The next thing she knew, she felt something in her chest cease the pain as Yuna unleashed a powerful shockwave that forced Yunalesca to let go.

"What?" exclaimed the Yunalesca, "that's impossible!"

As Yuna floated back to the ground, Sin's symbol began to glow on her chest as her eyes changed from blue and green to purple and red. She sighed in relief, knowing that her soul bond saved her life as she cast a Curaga spell that healed herself and her guardians. But, it seems that the battle is not over yet.

"Everyone," said Yuna, "get out of here."

"Why?" demanded Wakka.

"Just trust me," assured Yuna.

Yuna's guardians nodded in agreement as they got to their feet. They sprinted to the exit of the dome, but then they realized that the gate was shut. Tidus and Patravi struggled to open it, but with no luck.

"Damn it," shouted Patravi, "it won't budge!"

"Let me take care of that," interrupted a voice from behind.

Tidus, Patravi, Auron, Kimahri, Wakka, Lulu and Rikku turned their heads to the source of the voice, which happens to be a muscular man with black hair and a red headband.

"Dad!" exclaimed Tidus.

"Just stand back," ordered Jecht.

Yuna's guardians jumped out of the way as Jecht approached the sealed gate. He then slashed his huge sword at the gate, which destroyed it.

"There," grinned Jecht, "problem solved."

Meanwhile, Yuna summoned Bahamut, Ifrit, Ixion, Shiva and Valefor into battle as Yunalesca rose high into the air, revealing a massive body infused with the Ruin.

"We'll take it from here," said Ifrit.

"Wait," protested Yuna, "I'm fighting, too!"

"Are you serious?" exclaimed Shiva.

"Don't worry about me," replied Yuna, "I'm ready to fight for Spira."

"You really are brave, Yuna," smiled Bahamut, "I can see why Sin chose you."

"Lady Yuna," added Valefor, "I would be honored to fight on your side."

"I accept your honor," agreed Yuna.

"Here they come!" warned Ixion.

Without warning, Yunalesca unleashed a powerful shockwave that hit the entire dome before taking to the sky, and it soon began to collapse. Yuna leapt onto Valefor's back as a swarm of Menacing Ruin emerged from the ground. Valefor and Bahamut then took off and began to pursue Yunalesca in midair as Ifrit, Ixion and Shiva attacked the Menacing Ruin.

Meanwhile, outside the dome, Jecht, Tidus, Patravi, Auron, Kimahri, Wakka, Lulu and Rikku were taking a moment to rest when they noticed Yunalesca's true form floating midair. They were even more surprised when they saw Valefor and Bahamut charging into battle. Tidus began darting toward the collapsed dome until Auron suddenly grabbed his shoulder.

"Hey," demanded Tidus, "let me go! Yuna needs help!"

"She can take care of herself," reminded Auron.

"What if Yuna dies?" protested Tidus.

Just then, Leviathan appeared before Yuna's guardians and Jecht.

"Don't panic," assured Leviathan, "Master is on his way here."

Just then, swarms of Insidious Ruin spawned from the ground, forcing Yuna's guardians to fight back.

Meanwhile, just as Bahamut and Valefor managed to catch up, Yunalesca's eyes began glowing as she began flinging pieces of rubble at Valefor and Bahamut via telekinesis, forcing them to dodge the projectiles. Yuna seized the opportunity by jumping onto one of them and fired a beam of the Eyestaff at Yunalesca's demon-like head, which gouged out one of her eyes. After she let out a shriek of pain, Yunalesca launched swarms of Drifting Ruin out of the Ruin composed body.

Yuna began jumping from debris to debris to dodge the projectiles from the Drifting Ruin. Fortunately, Ifrit, Ixion and Shiva have also started using the pieces of debris as a platform to fight the Drifting Ruin. At the same time, Bahamut launched a powerful beam of energy at Yunalesca's head, which tore away a piece of flesh, revealing a blue glowing crystal.

"That must be the monster's weak spot!" commented Bahamut.

Yuna just landed on a floating roof when Valefor flew before her.

"Shall we do this together?" proposed Valefor.

"Right," nodded Yuna.

As Yuna charged up the Eyestaff, Valefor summoned a magical circle. Yuna then launched flares into the sky as Valefor shot a volley of energy shots at Yunalesca. At the same time, the flares rained down, and both forces destroyed the crystal on Yunalesca's forehead. This caused the Ruin composed body to begin drying up. Yunalesca's true form and her unsent form began to merge.

"Is it over?" thought Yuna.

Without warning, Yunalesca shot a deadly projectile at Yuna. But then, Valefor flew in the way and took the hit, letting out a shriek of pain at the same time. The next thing Yuna knew, the rubble crumbled away and Yuna started falling. However, Valefor managed to catch her in midair with the last of her strength, but they soon fell to the ground.

At a distance, Tidus gasped in horror as he saw both Yuna and Valefor make a crash landing.

"Yuna!" shouted Tidus.

Meanwhile, Yuna managed to get back to her feet as her eyes returned to normal, but when she glanced at Valefor, she gasped in horror at the sight of a massive piece of rubble lodged in the Esper's chest, blood seeping out of the wound.

"Valefor!" panicked Yuna.

Yuna quickly snapped out of her thoughts as she glanced at Yunalesca. She pulled out the Eyestaff and aimed it at the massive demon.

"Foolish summoner," bellowed Yunalesca, "I will break you down. You will lose yourself forever!"

{Not if I have something to say about it!}

Yuna glanced into the distance, and to her surprise, Sin has finally arrived as he let out a growl that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind, yet he didn't seem angry for some reason.

"Sin," whispered Yuna.

As Sin headed toward Yunalesca, he sprouted wings.

{Let me put an end to your misery,} muttered Sin.

Sin summoned an energy sphere as he opened his mouth, which set off a powerful shockwave that immobilized Yunalesca. Sin then launched the energy sphere, which disintegrated the massive demon completely.

Yuna sighed in relief, but it was short-lived when she glanced at Valefor. She quickly scurried toward Sin, and it wasn't long before he noticed her presence.

{Are you all right?} asked Sin.

"I'm ok," muttered Yuna, "but Valefor needs help!"

Sin turned to Bahamut.

{Bahamut,} commanded Sin, {find Valefor and bring her out here.}

As Bahamut began his search, Yuna joined up with her guardians, along with Ifrit, Ixion, Shiva and Leviathan. A moment later, Bahamut arrived with Valefor in his arms.

"Master," said Bahamut, "I found Valefor, but she's dying."

"No!" panicked Yuna.

Yuna raced toward Bahamut as he lowered Valefor to the ground. She knelt down beside Valefor, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Valefor," cried Yuna, "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean for this to happen."

"Don't blame yourself, Yuna," wheezed Valefor, "I was only carrying out my duty as an Esper."

"I can't just let you die," protested Yuna, "I became a summoner because of you!"

"That's true," replied Valefor, "and I'm glad that you accepted your destiny when it happened."

Yuna glanced at Sin.

"Isn't there some way we can save her?" demanded Yuna.

Sin leaned in and gently placed his fin on Valefor's wing.

{Valefor,} said Sin, {I appreciate that you helped protect Yuna when her quest began. You have my honor, even to the end.}

"Thank you, Master," whispered Valefor.

After examining Valefor, Sin glanced back at Yuna, who desperately attempted to cast a Curaga spell, but with no luck.

{I'm sorry, Yuna,} muttered Sin, {but there's nothing I can do now.}

"Espers can die?" gasped Patravi.

"I guess they aren't invincible," commented Auron.

Valefor made a final glance at Yuna as her colors began fading away.

"Valefor," muttered Yuna.

"Your destiny is more important than I am," choked Valefor, "we are all counting on you, Yuna. Farewell."

Without warning, Valefor's body went limp and her color faded out completely. Yuna glanced at her guardians, who also seemed distraught. She then glanced at Sin, and noticed his eyes turned blue.

{Yuna,} whispered Sin.

After getting back to her feet, Yuna approached Sin and leaned on his head.

"I couldn't save her," bleated Yuna, "I'm so sorry..."

Unable to handle the pain from losing her first Esper, she started crying. Rikku fell to her knees with tears in her eyes. Jecht gently embraced Tidus, who was also shedding tears. Patravi wept as she leaned onto Auron's shoulders. Lulu, Wakka and Kimahri glanced at the Espers, who were also mourning just like they were.

After a while, Yuna took a step back as Sin glanced back at Valefor's corpse. At the same time, Tidus began wiping his tears.

"You done crying?" asked Jecht.

Tidus nodded.

"You had me worried for ten years," commented Tidus, "and I was looking all over for you."

"Yeah, I know," replied Jecht, "sorry I left you like that, son."

Bahamut, Ifrit, Ixion, Shiva and Leviathan were also recovering from the moment of grief as they faced Sin.

{We have lost a formidable ally,} announced Sin, {but at the same time, the tides have been turned against Yevon.}

Sin glanced at Yuna.

{Valefor's death was not in vain,} continued Sin, {just remember, in place of death, there is also life.}

Yuna nodded before glancing back at Valefor.

"Should I send her?" asked Yuna.

{I will carry it out myself,} insisted Sin.

Sin then motioned his fins as he and the Espers began chanting the same hymn Yuna heard in her recent dream. At the same time, Jecht took several steps back as he clutched his hand to his chest. In a matter of moments, Valefor's corpse dissolved into pyreflies.

As everyone was getting ready to rest for the night, Yuna pulled out the sphere that Mika gave her and held it out to Sin.

"Maester Mika asked me to give this to you before he died," said Yuna.

Sin grasped the sphere with a couple of his tendrils.

{Thank you, Yuna,} replied Sin, {I will analyze the details, and explain them to you at dawn. Until then, shall I keep you company?}

Yuna nodded, and then curled up underneath Sin as she drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

As morning came in, Yuna stood to her feet the instant she woke up. While Sin was still in Zanarkand Ruins, it seemed that the Espers have already left. Maybe Sin dismissed them already? She soon rejoined with her guardians and Jecht, who have also awakened from a restful sleep.

"Morning, Yuna," chirped Patravi, "are you glad that we got rid of that devil lady last night?"

"I guess so," nodded Yuna, "but it was Sin who finished off Yunalesca, right?"

"True," replied Auron, "but that means summoners will be sacrificed no more."

"So what do we do now?" asked Rikku.

"I think Sin might have some advice," suggested Yuna.

Just as Yuna and her guardians started approaching Sin, Tidus pulled out the book Mika gave him from his pocket and started skimming through the contents for a brief moment before glancing at Yuna.

"Yuna," reminded Tidus, "what about the God of Balance?"

"R-Right," stammered Yuna.

Yuna took a few steps ahead as Sin focused his eyes on her.

"Sin," said Yuna, "there's something that I need to ask you."

{Very well,} acknowledged Sin.

"I heard of this tale about a god of balance that existed in Spira until it disappeared fifty thousand years ago," explained Yuna, "according to Maester Mika, it can only be resurrected by the Espers."

{That has already been taken care of a thousand years ago,} replied Sin.

"That's when you came to Spira, right?" clarified Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{You saw through the memory I shared with you,} mentioned Sin, {on the night you escaped Bevelle, true?}

Yuna nodded. She then started thinking over the information in her head.

"Tidus," asked Patravi, "why did you bring it up?"

"Why not?" answered Tidus, "I was hoping we'd actually meet this god. But then, I'm not really sure how to find it."

"Not even Sin would tell us where to find the God of Balance?" grumbled Rikku, "what a waste!"

"Kimahri think the god is hiding in plain sight," suggested Kimahri.

Yuna quickly snapped out her thoughts the instant she heard Kimahri as she took a brief glance at him.

"Then maybe we have already met him before?" asked Yuna.

Kimahri didn't say anything.

"Wait," paused Yuna.

"Yuna?" pondered Auron.

"Sin didn't just come to Spira," thought Yuna, "he was resurrected! Then, that means..."

Yuna glanced back at Sin.

"You're the God of Balance," clarified Yuna, "aren't you?"

"What?" exclaimed Wakka.

There was a long moment of silence as Tidus, Yuna, Auron, Kimahri, Wakka, Lulu, Rikku, Patravi and Jecht gazed at Sin, confused, until…

{You are correct,} admitted Sin.

Yuna's guardians and Jecht instantly gasped in surprise.

"Then that means the stories were true!" exclaimed Lulu.

"Why didn't you tell us earlier?" demanded Patravi.

{I had to wait a thousand years for my power to awaken completely,} explained Sin.

"Weren't you powerful enough already?" commented Tidus.

"Sin was referring to the ability he used to destroy Yunalesca," corrected Auron.

{Exactly,} affirmed Sin, {that was an extent of my true power. After my resurrection, I was informed of the war and of Yevon. I managed to end the war myself, but Yevon conspired all of Spira against me. You've seen the abuse he has inflicted on Spira, true?}

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

Sin then gave the sphere back to Yuna.

{You might want to play it back,} suggested Sin.

Yuna nodded in agreement, and then she knelt down as her guardians gathered around the sphere. Without hesitation, Yuna turned on the sphere.

Maester Kelk was hampering with the wires attached to some strange machina. After a brief moment, Kelk extracted some sort of essence, which soon expanded beyond the chamber, and he found himself in a library.

There, he saw Yu Yevon carrying a book in his hand while wandering the corridor. Along the way, Yu Yevon ran into a couple clerics. Perhaps this was a memory from a thousand years ago?

"Good evening, gentlemen," said Yevon.

"Lord Yevon!" exclaimed the older cleric, "what brings you here?"

"Because I have something to ask you," queried Yevon, "why do you think every living thing dies, such as men, beasts, trees and even continents?"

"I think it's a natural part of life," answered the younger cleric.

"Why go through life when the end result is death?" replied Yevon, "in fact, why let life exist at all?"

"Why are you asking us this?" demanded the older cleric.

Yu Yevon then presented the book in his hands to the clergy.

"That book," exclaimed the older cleric, "destroy it at once! It contains a forbidden magic that even the God of Balance will not touch!"

"Where did you get that book?" asked the younger cleric.

"It doesn't matter where I got it," answered Yevon, "what matters is that I deciphered the text of this tome and I have a proposal."

"Out with it," barked the older cleric.

"You see," proposed Yevon, "Spira is a land of suffering and sorrow caught in a spiral of death. If all of life were to end on Spira, all of the suffering would end."

The clergy gasped in horror.

"Don't you see?" continued Yevon, "with death on our side, we will save Spira. With the souls of the summoners, I will become immortal and bring Spira to extinction!"

"You wouldn't dare!" barked the older cleric.

"Very well," replied Yevon, "allow me to demonstrate the magic to you."

Yu Yevon then began chanting what sounded like a forbidden language, which summoned a swarm of Drifting Ruin, and the creatures shot projectiles of the lethal substance at the clergy, which killed them.

Maester Kelk then found himself back in the chamber where he found the wired machina.

"This is bad," muttered Kelk.

However, before he could leave the chamber, he was ambushed by a swarm of Drifting Ruin.

The sphere's footage came to an abrupt end, leaving Yuna, her guardians and Jecht stricken with disbelief. Anxious, they stood to their feet and glanced at Sin.

"What does this mean?" asked Yuna.

{You now understand why Yevon is a threat,} explained Sin, {I believe at some point in his life, he became obsessed with the power to command death. But, that obsession has turned him corrupt.}

"You mean Yevon was ruling all over Spira just so he could throw it away?" exclaimed Rikku.

Sin nodded.

"Let's see," clarified Lulu, "the summoners are sacrificed, the Ruin are creatures of death, Yevon's machina are only built to kill, and the impoverished are starving to death. Now it all makes sense!"

"So Yevon's tyranny is a lethal hazard," commented Auron.

{We have only one choice,} announced Sin, {we must destroy Yevon. Yuna, this is where I will need your help. Since I first met you ten years ago, I saw a potential of hope inside you that will one day abolish Yevon and restore the balance of life in Spira. That is why I chose you.}

"I see," breathed Yuna.

"So," asked Patravi, "if Yuna's the chosen one, then how do we turn the tides against Yevon?"

{Yuna has already done so when she had the Final Summoning destroyed,} answered Sin.

"And you helped," added Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{My advice for all of you is to find as much allies possible if we are to destroy Yevon,} proposed Sin, {but I must warn you, any Ruin left alone in Spira will cause the surrounding landscape to decay. If you happen to find a Ruin infestation, destroy it quickly.}

Sin then started turning his head to the distance as Auron tucked away the sphere into his pocket.

"Hey, where are you going?" asked Tidus.

{I'm heading out to find the other Espers,} answered Sin, {until then, I'm counting on all of you.}

"I won't let you down," nodded Yuna.

Sin glided out into the distance. At the same time, Yuna, her guardians and Jecht noticed that the Al Bhed airship was just arriving in Zanarkand. After boarding the airship, they found themselves standing before Cid and Seymour at the bridge.

"I'll explain everything to Cid," suggested Auron, "why don't you get something to eat?"

"Ok," nodded Patravi.

As Auron began to explain the recent incidents to Cid, Yuna and the rest of her guardians headed for the galley. There, they placed their orders and sat down to eat, with Yuna, Tidus, Rikku and Patravi sharing one table.

"I never thought it would come down to this," said Yuna, "when I became a summoner, I was just hoping to avenge my sister, Kissa."

"Because Seymour's uncle raped and murdered her before setting your house on fire?" clarified Tidus, taking a bite out of his gyudon.

"Yes," nodded Yuna, "but I didn't think I'd end up shouldering the fate of Spira."

"Well," replied Patravi, "we've made it this far. I'm sure the Al Bhed will side with us when we fight for freedom, right?"

"Yep," chirped Rikku.

Just then, Auron entered the galley, and after ordering a bowl of miso soup, he sat at the table where Yuna, Tidus, Rikku and Patravi were eating.

"Hay dad," smiled Patravi, "did you get any latest news?"

"According to Cid," replied Auron, "after we escaped Bevelle, Yevon sent out hundreds of warrior monks all over Spira to hunt us down."

"Man," sighed Tidus, "how the fuck are we supposed to get allies when we're on Yevon's hit list?"

"I'm sure there are others that still trust us," assured Yuna.

After finishing up breakfast, Yuna and her guardians returned to the bridge, where Cid, Jecht and Seymour were waiting.

"So," said Jecht, "are we going to get some buddies to join our cause?"

"Yeah," replied Patravi, "but first, we need to find a place where we can all seek refuge from Yevon's tyranny."

"Not to worry, kiddo," assured Cid, "I have located a large island far west from the main continent. Perhaps we can use that place to plan our attack against Yevon."

"Thank you, Uncle Cid," smiled Yuna, "I'm ready to fight to save Spira."

"This is really inspirational," commented Seymour, "especially from the summoner who fell in love with Sin."

"I guess…" replied Yuna, blushing.

"All right," declared Cid, "prepare for takeoff!"

The airship soon ascended out of Zanarkand Ruins and took off.

"Yee-haw," shouted Cid, "here we go!"

After a long while, the airship reached the large island, but to the passengers' surprise, there was a huge metropolis sitting in it.

"Hey Tidus," asked Rikku, "what's a city doing on an isolated island?"

"That's New Zanarkand!" exclaimed Tidus.

"Really?" warbled Patravi.

The airship made a safe landing at the dock, but when Yuna, Tidus, Auron, Kimahri, Wakka, Lulu, Rikku, Patravi, Cid, Seymour and Jecht disembarked, they were greeted by soldiers that pointed their guns at them.

"Hey fellas," sang Jecht, "did you miss me?"

The soldiers glanced at each other in confusion for a brief moment before returning their glances at the trespassers.

"Come with us," commanded one of the soldiers.

The next thing Yuna knew, she and her companions were standing in a massive dome before five robed men that were sitting at an oblong desk. They glanced at each other for a brief moment with confused looks on their faces. After that, they returned their gaze at Yuna and her companions.

"Sir Jecht," demanded the eldest councilor, "why did you bring these outsiders to our city? They might be Yevonite spies!"

"Don't worry," assured Jecht, "they're not Yevonite spies. I made sure of that."

"I see," said the novice councilor, "where have you been for the last ten years?"

"It's a long story," replied Jecht, "is it ok if I let the summoner give the explanations?"

"Summoner?" pondered the eldest councilor.

Jecht motioned Yuna to step forward.

"Sir Jecht was referring to me," said Yuna, "I am Yuna, and we come in peace."

"Well then," asked the eldest councilor, "what brings you here to New Zanarkand, Summoner Yuna?"

"We are here on behalf of Sin," answered Yuna, "the God of Balance."

The councilors instantly gasped in surprise.

"The God of Balance has returned?" exclaimed the novice councilor.

Yuna nodded.

"I don't know how long it will take," continued Yuna, "but soon, we will be fighting against Yevon for the sake of all of Spira. Will you allow my allies to take shelter here?"

"So Exodus was right," muttered the eldest councilor.

"Did you say something?" asked Tidus.

"Very well," acknowledged the elder councilor, "you have our permission."

Chapter Text

The Council of New Zanarkand provided the Al Bhed with a massive abandoned hangar. Seymour and Jecht stayed behind as the airship took off to find more potential rebels.

After arriving in Besaid, Yuna and her guardians stepped out onto the beach. Tidus took a few steps ahead and gazed at the tropical plants in amazement for only a moment. Soon, Patravi approached Tidus from behind.

"Is this your home?" asked Tidus.

"Well, I know that Wakka and his brother were born here," answered Patravi, "but Yuna and I moved here ten years ago."

"Wait," paused Tidus, "Wakka had a brother?"

"Yeah," nodded Wakka, "but my brother Chappu was killed by the Ruin last year."

"Well, that sucked," commented Tidus.

Yuna began to lead her guardians inland. But soon, their eyes began to widen in horror upon noticing puddles of Ruin scattering the island. To make matters worse, the tropical plants were beginning to rot and the terrain was crumbling away because of it.

"How the fuck did the Ruin manage to infest Besaid?" exclaimed Patravi.

"I guess Valefor's death made this island vulnerable," assumed Lulu.

"This is bad…" muttered Yuna.

Yuna and her guardians continued to traverse further inland, but they were all forced to fight through hordes of Insidious Ruin and Drifting Ruin along the way. Upon reaching the village square, they laid their eyes on several Colossal Ruin terrorizing the village.

"Looks like trouble," said Rikku.

"We've gotta help them!" declared Tidus.

Yuna and her guardians charged into battle, and the Colossal Ruin responded by spewing out burning doll heads in the air. They were soon forced to dodge these projectiles that soon bombarded the surrounding area. Unfortunately, Kimahri, Tidus, Yuna and Patravi were hit by a few, so Rikku administered an Al Bhed Potion.

Just then, Ifrit and Shiva appeared into battle and blasted the Colossal Ruin. Wait, Yuna didn't summon those two! Maybe there was another summoner? After looking around, Yuna and Rikku laid their eyes on Dona and Isaaru.

"Dona? Isaaru?" exclaimed Yuna, "what are you doing here?"

"We were just seeking refuge here when this massive machina appeared out of nowhere and deposited some sort of monster into the temple," explained Isaaru.

"The Dreadnought…" muttered Yuna.

"Is that the reason why the Ruin are spawning here?" asked Wakka.

"Looks like it," nodded Lulu.

"What do we do?" asked Patravi.

"We take it out!" declared Auron.

Just then, more Colossal Ruin began to spawn from the ground.

"But what about the Colossal Ruin?" protested Rikku.

"Leave those to us," replied Dona.

Yuna led her guardians into the temple. Inside the great hall, they came across a massive blob of Ruin that was blocking the Cloister of Trials. They wasted no time as they charged into battle. Tidus and Patravi landed a few hits on the massive monster, but it didn't seem to do any damage at all. Lulu looked around until she laid her eyes on black doll heads floating around the temple.

"We take the heads out first!" said Lulu.

After agreeing to the new strategy, Wakka began pummeling some of the doll heads with his blitzball while Yuna and Lulu cast some Flare spells to take out the others, and Rikku blew up a few more with her grenades. This weakened the massive blob of Ruin, which gave Auron, Kimahri, Tidus and Patravi an opportunity to attack it again. This time, the massive monster began losing its own doll heads with each strike.

Before long, the massive blob of Ruin was finally destroyed, and Yuna sighed in relief. Unfortunately, that relief was short-lived when she laid her eyes on the elder priest, who was lying on the ground with a piece of crystallized Ruin embedded into his chest, blood spilling onto the floor.

"No," muttered Yuna.

Yuna sprinted toward the elder priest and knelt down beside him.

"I'm so sorry, sir," panicked Yuna, "are we too late?"

"No," replied the priest, "I'm glad that you've come at all."

Yuna was about to pull out the piece of Ruin, but Auron suddenly grabbed her wrist.

"What are you doing?" demanded Yuna, "let go of me!"

"Don't touch that shard," said Auron, "you'll burn your hand off."

"But Sir Auron…" protested Yuna, "I can't just let him die!"

"It's too late for me," croaked the priest, "only the God of Balance can save us all now…"

Without warning, the elder priest succumbed to his wounds. Yuna stood to her feet and glanced at her guardians and the surviving priests.

"How many more innocent people have to die?" asked Yuna, upset.

"Kimahri not know," said Kimahri.

"For now," suggested Auron, "we gather the dead."

Everyone in the temple nodded in agreement, and then they searched the entire village for people that have met their demise. They placed the dead in the village square. To Yuna's dismay, some of the children in the village were crying since they lost their parents to this tragedy. She approached Isaaru and Dona.

"Is it ok if we perform the sending together?" asked Yuna.

"I wouldn't mind," nodded Isaaru.

Yuna, Dona and Isaaru gathered around the corpses neatly laid out in a circle as they performed the sending. After the ritual was complete, the surviving priests approached the summoners.

"We thank you for saving this island," said the youngest priest, "we feared that this island was done for."

"You're welcome," nodded Isaaru.

While the priests left to gather the survivors, Yuna turned her glance to Dona and Isaaru as Maroda, Pacce and Barthello came out of hiding.

"Now that we got those Ruin monsters out of the way," said Dona, "what brings you here?"

"We're looking for allies so we can overthrow Yevon," replied Yuna.

"Seriously?" exclaimed Isaaru, "I'm not sure if that's a good idea. Besides, Yevon has hundreds of loyal followers, including Kinoc and the administrators. Why would you want to defy him?"

"Because if we don't," explained Yuna, "he will bring Spira to extinction."

"How did you know?" asked Dona.

"Sin told me about it," answered Yuna.

"Oh," mused Isaaru, "I guess you trust Sin with your life. No wonder Yevon wants you dead."

Yuna nodded.

"Are you willing to fight with us?" asked Yuna.

"If it makes everyone in Spira happy," nodded Isaaru, "I'll be more than happy to join your rebellion."

"Thank you," smiled Yuna.

Meanwhile, Patravi came across Gatta, who was delivering the medicine to the wounded.

"Hey," chirped Patravi, "you're ok! How's it going?"

"I've been doing just fine until the Ruin attacked the village," replied Gatta.

"Yeah," commented Patravi, "I heard Yevon is planning even worse than that."

"Oh boy…" muttered Gatta.

"Say," proposed Patravi, "Yuna is forming a rebellion, and I was wondering if you could join us."

Gatta paused for a moment as he scratched his head.

"I'm not sure if I even want to fight," said Gatta, "but sure, I'll join your cause."

"Thanks!" smiled Patravi.

Later on, Yuna and her guardians regrouped at the beach along with Dona, Isaaru, Barthello, Maroda, Pacce and Gatta.

"Are you guys ready to go?" asked Rikku.

Everyone nodded. Yuna then led her guardians and their new allies toward the airship.

At the observation deck, Yuna, Rikku, Patravi and Gatta were gazing out of the window.

"Do you know where we can find more allies?" asked Patravi.

"I think the Crusaders could make potential allies," answered Gatta, "but thanks to Operation Mi'ihen, there aren't that many of us left."

"What about Lucil, Elma and Clasko?" reminded Yuna.

"Oh yeah!" chirped Rikku, "Gatta did say that they were heading north to find chocobos, right?"

Gatta nodded.

"But then," paused Patravi, "I wonder if there is a place that is abundant with chocobos."

"The only places I could think of are Mi'ihen or the Calm Lands," suggested Gatta.

"Then," said Yuna, "I guess we know where to go next."

After Yuna placed her request with Cid, he maneuvered the airship toward the Calm Lands. There, Yuna and her guardians found Lucil and Elma resting at the Travel Agency. They stood up at the instant they laid their eyes on Yuna.

"Lady Yuna?" exclaimed Lucil, "I thought you were on your pilgrimage to Zanarkand."

"Not this time," replied Auron.

"Where's Clasko?" asked Patravi.

"Behind the agency," answered Elma.

As Auron continued to explain the situation, Patravi sprinted around the agency. She found Clasko petting a chocobo.

"Hi, Clasko!" chirped Patravi.

Clasko jumped in surprise before turning his glance at Patravi.

"You didn't need to scare me like that!" barked Clasko.

"My bad," chuckled Patravi.

Just then, the chocobo squealed while flapping its wings.

"Oh," said Clasko, "you want me to scratch you?"

Clasko returned his glance at the chocobo as he started scratching its neck.

"There," smiled Clasko, "good boy!"

"How did you know what it wanted?" asked Patravi.

"I've always been able to tell how chocobos feel," answered Clasko, "I wonder if I should become a chocobo breeder…"

"Actually," smiled Patravi, "you'd make a great chocobo breeder!"

"Really?" exclaimed Clasko.

Patravi nodded.

Meanwhile, Auron has just finished his explanation and has made his offer. Lucil and Elma made a brief glance at each other before returning their glance at Auron.

"We kindly accept your request," said Lucil, "would you like us to help find some nearby reinforcements?"

"Take your time," nodded Auron.

"Kimahri will help," added Kimahri.

Lucil and Elma then headed out of the agency with Kimahri tagging along.

"So what do we do now?" asked Tidus.

"Well," suggested Lulu, "there is a cave down in the gorge that I would like to investigate."

"Why?" asked Yuna.

"How about I show you?" proposed Lulu.

"Ok," nodded Yuna.

Yuna, Tidus, Rikku, Auron, Wakka and Lulu left the agency, but they paused after traveling a few meters.

"Wait, what about Patravi?" asked Rikku.

Auron glanced at Clasko and Patravi, who were helping a lady training a flock of chocobos.

"I'm sure she'll be fine," assured Auron.

Yuna and her guardians continued to traverse north. When they reached the bridge to Gagazet, Lulu led the party down the gorge, which led to the bottom. There, they came across a cave.

"Are you sure about this?" asked Auron.

Lulu nodded.

"An Esper lives in this cave," explained Lulu, "but also, the summoner I guarded on my first pilgrimage died here."

"I see…" breathed Yuna.

Lulu then led Yuna, Tidus, Rikku, Auron and Wakka into the cave. During the trek, Wakka pummeled the Imps with his blitzball as Lulu burned the Thorns with her Firaga spells. Auron took out the Nidhoggs and Valahas as Tidus fought the Epaajs and Yowies. Rikku stole some useful items from the fiends as Yuna cast her Flare spells to take out the Dark Elementals and Ghosts. Halfway through the cave, Yuna learned the Holy spell.

When Yuna and her guardians reached the deepest point of the cave, they came across a figure of a woman that just coalesced out of pyreflies.

"What's that?" exclaimed Wakka.

"Lady Ginnem," gasped Lulu.

Ginnem boldly approached Yuna.

"Is there something you want?" asked Yuna.

Ginnem nodded before pointing at a statue at the far left. Curious, Yuna approached the statue with her guardians following suit. She made the gesture that was meant to be the prayer of Yevon. To everyone's surprise, a figure of an ancient cleric coalesced out of pyreflies that escaped the statue.

"Who are you?" asked Yuna.

"I am Caius," answered the cleric, "do you know what has become of my son Yevon?"

"Yevon's your father?" exclaimed Tidus.

Caius nodded.

"Well," said Yuna, "Yevon has caused so much pain for all of us."

"I should've known," muttered Caius, "he really is to blame, but I am at fault for letting him become what he was."

"What do you mean?" asked Rikku.

"Well," explained Caius, "Yevon lived a sheltered life in his childhood, growing up without a mother. I heard rumors that he had an unhealthy obsesseion for domination. I initially brushed it off at first, but then one day, Yevon asked me to teach him to use magic. I readily accepted, but because I let him taste power, he began to thirst for more. Over time, he began gathering books on forbidden magic. He wanted more power, and his view on Spira became twisted…"

"And then he found the Ruin," commented Yuna.

Caius nodded.

"I had most of the forbidden tomes destroyed," continued Caius, "but I was already too late, and Yevon had me trapped down here. Will you help me end his insanity?"

"I accept," nodded Yuna.

"Thank you," smiled Caius.

Caius then walked toward Ginnem. Yuna then performed the sending for both of them.

"Strange," said Lulu," I thought this would be sadder. Maybe I've gotten used to farewells."

Yuna and her guardians then stepped onto a nearby teleport pad which sent them directly to the Chamber of Fayth, where they came upon another vivid spring. It wasn't long before an Esper emerged from the spring. Well, it was actually two Espers reminding one of a samurai and a dog.

"I am the blade of vengeance," said the Esper, "they dare only whisper my name, Yojimbo. I ask of you, summoner, what do you want of me?"

"I am here on behalf of the God of Balance," replied Yuna, "he requests your aid in taking out the most dangerous enemy that is manifesting Spira."

"Do you have any proof?" demanded Yojimbo.

Yuna pulled out Sin's Eyestaff and held it out before Yojimbo. He carefully placed his hand over the orb, which began glowing upon contact. After a brief moment, he let out a hum as he withdrew his hand.

"So you have come in contact with Master Sin?" said Yojimbo, "very well, I shall accept his assistance."

"Thank you," smiled Yuna.

Yojimbo and his dog then disappeared into the spring as Yuna and her guardians left the Chamber of Fayth.

Chapter Text

It was quite a long trek out of the cavern and back to the Travel Agency. There, they met up with Patravi and Clasko, and they noticed that Kimahri, Lucil and Elma found O'aka, Biran, Yenke, a man with white hair and several Ronso warriors.

"So," chirped Rikku, "are you guys ready to go?"

"Hold on," paused Patravi, pointing at the white-haired man, "do you know who that guy is?"

Yuna and the rest of her guardians shook their heads. Patravi then turned her glance to O'aka.

"Hey, O'aka," asked Patravi, "do you know this guy?"

"Baralai also helps make contributions to the soup kitchens," answered O'aka.

Baralai let out a chuckle.

"I guess that eliminated my need to introduce myself," said Baralai.

"Welcome to the team, Baralai," smiled Tidus, "say, what has become of the soup kitchens?"

"Since Maester Mika's death," replied O'aka, "Yevon had all of the soup kitchens demolished."

"You mean hundreds of people will be left to starve to death?" gasped Yuna.

"I'm afraid so," nodded Lucil.

"This is getting worse than I thought," thought Yuna.

"Is there anything else going on in Bevelle?" asked Wakka.

"Not really," nodded Baralai, "but we need to head for Luca right away."

Just then, the airship arrived, compelling Yuna, her guardians and their newfound allies to board.

On the bridge, Yuna, Rikku, Wakka and Lulu approached Baralai.

"You said that you needed to head for Luca," said Lulu, "is there something going on?"

"Well," replied Baralai, "I heard that Yevon is sending out the Dreadnought Mark 2 to demolish the stadium in Luca."

"Why would he do such a thing like that?" gasped Yuna.

"I hate to say this," explained Baralai, "but Yevon has recently made Blitzball illegal."

"What?" exclaimed Wakka, "we can't play Blitzball anymore? But it's the only entertainment we have!"

"That's horrible," muttered Rikku.

"I know," replied Baralai.

Yuna and Rikku approached Cid.

"Frana du huf?" asked Cid.

"Luimt oui dyga ic du Luca?" requested Rikku, "Yevon ec kuehk du tacdnuo dra cdyteis yd yho sehida!"

"Tacdnuo dra cdyteis?" exclaimed Cid, "hud ev E ryja cusadrehk du cyo ypuid ed! Cad luinca vun Luca!"

It was only a while before the airship arrived in Luca. By then, it was already sunset. There, Yuna, her guardians and Baralai headed for the streets of Luca. To their surprise, the Blitzball players were barricading the front of the stadium as dozens of Crusaders were fighting hundreds of Yevonites trying to reach the stadium.

"Any ideas?" asked Patravi.

"We split up!" announced Auron.

Wakka and Lulu sprinted toward the Blitzball players, Auron, Baralai, Patravi and Kimahri charged at the Yevonites. Tidus, Yuna and Rikku were left standing in the streets in front of the stadium.

"I guess we're supposed to find more recruits, right?" said Rikku.

"Seriously?" exclaimed Tidus, "in the middle of a riot?!"

"Do whatever you can," suggested Yuna, "I'm going in."

Without warning, Yuna sped into the fray.

"Yunie," cried Rikku, "wait!"

"Yuna knows what she's doing," assured Tidus, "why don't we find more rebels?"

Rikku nodded in agreement. Tidus and Rikku then started to scurry through the streets as they dodged tear gas grenades and water cannons launched by Yevonites. To their horror, a few innocent civilians got hit by tear gas grenades, which tore off portions of their faces, leaving them to bleed to death.

Meanwhile, Wakka and Lulu helped the Blitzball players by keeping the Yevonites from setting foot into the stadium with his blitzball and her Flare spells. Yet, more Yevonites keep arriving by the second.

"Man," grumbled Wakka, "they just keep coming! Is there no end to this?"

"Yeah," replied Bickson, "this was supposed to be a peaceful protest, but Yevon is turning this into war!"

Meanwhile, Tidus and Rikku managed to find a few rebels named Nooj, Gippal and Paine as they started fighting through hordes of Insidious Ruin, Menacing Ruin and Drifting Ruin that are beginning to spawn.

"Oh great," growled Rikku, "Yevon is sending out the Ruin now!"

"Yevon has a lot worse coming for Luca," replied Paine.

"You mean the Dreadnought?" clarified Tidus.

Nooj, Gippal and Paine nodded.

Meanwhile, Yuna fired a beam of energy from Sin's Eyestaff at a Menacing Ruin, which saved Shelinda, who was taking cover behind a few crates. The Menacing Ruin shifted its attention toward Yuna. It pulled out a piece of burning substance which it flung at Yuna, but she deflected it with the Eyestaff, which destroyed the small doll arms. She then finished it off with a Holy spell as Shelinda crept from her hiding place.

"Lady Yuna?" gasped Shelinda, "is that really you?"

Yuna turned her glance at Shelinda.

"Are you ok?" asked Yuna.

Shelinda nodded.

"Thank you, Yuna," said Shelinda, "but even with everyone's efforts, Yevon is still not going to change his mind."

"I guess that means I'll have to stop him myself," replied Yuna.

Just then, the Dreadnought Mark 2 rose out of the ocean.

Meanwhile, Patravi was fighting through the Insidious Ruin when she came across a tall pale man with long dark grey hair.

"So," he sneered, "you must be the daughter of Auron."

"How do you know my name?" demanded Patravi.

The man didn't say anything. Instead, he zapped Patravi with a Thundara spell, which elicited a scream of pain from her. However, she quickly got back to her feet, her eyes filled with rage.

"That's it," spat Patravi, "take this!"

Patravi then charged at the menacing man. Just then, Auron joined in the fray.

"Damn you, Auron," roared the man, "you were supposed to kill that child like I ordered you to fourteen years ago!"

"This is my story, Lucifer," countered Auron, "and you are not part of it!"

"Lucifer?" thought Patravi.

Patravi snapped out of her thoughts as she teamed up with Auron to fight Lucifer, who began summoning Bitch Babies into the fray.

Meanwhile, the Dreadnought opened up its side compartments and began launching projectiles that planted onto random places in the stadium and the streets. Within moments, they set off explosions which damaged the stadium, sending pieces of debris falling to the streets while sending civilians into a panic.

The Blitzball players gasped in horror at the sight of the stadium being bombarded with wave after wave of projectiles. Even Wakka and Lulu were starting to get worried.

"There's nothing we can do now," muttered Lulu.

"What?" exclaimed Wakka.

"Everyone," yelled Lulu, "get out of here, now!"

"Are you serious?" protested Datto, "we can still save the stadium!"

"It's too late," countered Lulu, "the stadium will collapse at any minute! Do you want to get killed?"

Wakka and the Blitzball players shook their head. Lulu then led them away from the stadium as it began to collapse, much to their dismay.

Meanwhile, Yuna knew she couldn't just stand there and do nothing. She sprinted further toward the edge of the dock and pulled out the Eyestaff.

"Yuna," demanded Shelinda, "what are you doing? It's dangerous!"

Yuna ignored Shelinda's protests as she charged up the Eyestaff. She then fired a beam of energy at the Dreadnought just as Baralai showed up. To her surprise, the beam couldn't reach the Dreadnought as it was blocked by some sort of invisible force field.

"What?!" thought Yuna, "why isn't it working?"

Just then, another set of projectiles were launched at the dock, forcing Yuna to scurry out of the way as they landed before they set off explosions. She turned her glance at Shelinda and Baralai, who seemed confused.

"I thought I could disarm the machina," said Yuna, "but it didn't work. Why?"

"Yevon had a shield generator installed," explained Baralai, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier."

Meanwhile, Patravi plunged her sword into Lucifer's chest, and he dropped to the ground. After pulling the blade out of his corpse, she turned her glance at Auron.

"What was this guy's big deal?" asked Patravi.

"I'll explain later," answered Auron, "right now, we need to get the civilians to safety."

Auron and Patravi scurried through the streets until they came across Tidus, Kimahri, Rikku, Nooj, Gippal and Paine.

"Auron!" exclaimed Tidus, "what's going on?"

"We need to evacuate the civilians quickly," announced Auron, "I suspect the stadium is not the real target."

Meanwhile, the Dreadnought revealed its massive main cannon from its hull, which aimed directly at Luca before it began charging up.

"Wait a minute," gasped Baralai, "it's not just the stadium, Yevon's after the city itself!"

"No," whispered Shelinda.

"Do we have time to evacuate the city?" asked Yuna.

"I'm sorry," muttered Baralai, "but we're already too late."

Yuna shook her head in disbelief, and just as she was about to head out of the docks, she heard a roar that sounded like a whale combined with sirens and wind.

"Sin!" shouted a nearby civilian.

Yuna quickly turned her glance toward the ocean and gasped in surprise at the instant she saw Sin rise out of the ocean. At the same time, Bahamut, Leviathan, Ifrit and Yojimbo showed up as they proceeded to take out the remaining Ruin. Wait a minute; wasn't Sin looking for the other Espers?

Yuna snapped out of her thoughts as she focused on Sin, who turned his gaze toward the Dreadnought. Without warning, the Dreadnought fired its main cannon, but Sin quickly generated an energy shield which blocked the destructive beam. Many of the fortunate survivors also turned their gaze at Sin in anxiety as he used the shield to absorb the beam's energy.

After a long moment, the beam from the cannon dissipated, and then Sin molded the energy shield into a sphere before launching it as a beam, which not only penetrated the Dreadnought's force field, but it also destroyed the shield generator and part of its main engine. However, just as Sin began to sprout his wings, the Dreadnought Mark 2 retreated from Luca.

Meanwhile, Tidus, Rikku and Patravi searched the streets of Luca for survivors as Auron, Kimahri, Nooj, Gippal and Paine went ahead toward the docks. While gathering the survivors, they cringed at the sight of the scattered corpses all over Luca. One innocent victim was skewered in the stomach with a piece of rubble and another one had his arm torn off. In the midst of the search, they found Calli, who was kneeling beside her mother, who was skewered by a piece of crystallized Ruin.

"No, Mommy," cried Calli, "please don't leave me!"

"I'm so sorry, Calli," wheezed Calli's mom, "please stay strong for me."

To Calli's dismay, her mom went limp as Patravi approached them.

"Calli?" said Patravi.

Calli stood up and turned her glance at Patravi.

"Patravi!" exclaimed Calli.

"W-What happened?" asked Patravi, "are you ok?"

Calli didn't say anything, but she instantly burst into tears. Patravi knelt down and gently embraced Calli.

"They took my mom," sobbed Calli.

"Sorry about that," assured Patravi, "but it's a good thing you're still alive."

After a moment, Patravi stood up as Calli began wiping away her tears.

"Don't worry," said Patravi, "I won't let anything bad happen to you. How about we join up with Yuna?"

"Ok," nodded Calli.

Meanwhile, the Blitzball players gazed at the stadium. To their dismay, it was badly damaged from the attack. Wakka eventually turned his glance at Lulu.

"Why did this have to happen?" muttered Wakka.

"Yevon probably planned to crush Spira's economy," assumed Lulu, "I guess banning Blitzball was one of those steps."

Wakka and the Aurochs lowered their heads in dismay.

"Damn it," muttered Wakka.

"I understand you are upset," said Lulu, "but you know, no matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew."

Meanwhile, Yuna sighed in relief, even when she didn't anticipate Sin's sudden arrival. But for some reason, she really wanted answers. She began sprinting toward the dock as Sin turned his glance toward the city.

"Yuna," shouted Shelinda, "wait!"

Yuna ignored Shelinda's protests as she reached the edge of the dock. She then focused her glance at Sin.


"I had no idea you would show up all of a sudden," said Yuna, "how did you know Luca was under attack?"

{Leviathan informed me of the presence of the Ruin in the city,} explained Sin, {so I came here to investigate. It turned out that Yevon sent his strongest machina and the Ruin to destroy this city.}

"And you couldn't bear to let Yevon kill any more people?" asked Yuna.

Sin shook his head.

"But then," continued Yuna, "weren't you looking for the other Espers?"

{I sent Bahamut and Leviathan to help locate the remaining Espers,} answered Sin, {but I managed to locate Anima on my own. Also, I should probably thank you for helping me locate Yojimbo.}

"You're welcome," replied Yuna, "but I think Lulu was the one who knew where to find him."

"Yunie!" shouted Rikku.

Yuna quickly turned her glance at Tidus, Rikku, Patravi, Auron, Kimahri, Wakka and Lulu, who showed up along with Baralai, Shelinda, Calli, Nooj, Gippal and Paine.

"Aren't we going to head back to New Zanarkand?" asked Tidus.

"But what about the survivors?" reminded Yuna.

"Not to worry," assured Nooj, "I sent several Crusaders to help the survivors."

"Thank you, everyone," smiled Yuna.

Chapter Text

Several Crusaders volunteered to protect Luca with their lives in the aftermath of the attack. After Yuna, her guardians and their allies boarded the airship, the Al Bhed returned to New Zanarkand, where the rebels gathered in the hangar they used as their base. That night, Yuna was about to leave the base when Patravi intercepted her.

"Yuna, wait!" demanded Patravi, "where are you going?"

"I'm sorry," replied Yuna, "but I really want to ask Sin about something."

"Why can't you just ask him in the morning?" asked Patravi.

"Well, I…" stammered Yuna.

Just then, Auron showed up.

"Patravi," interrupted Auron, "let Yuna pass. We can meet up with her in the morning."

"But dad…" protested Patravi.

"Sin can protect Yuna," assured Auron, "remember?"

"Yeah, I guess," sighed Patravi.

"Thank you, Sir Auron," smiled Yuna.

Yuna left the base as Patravi turned her glance at Auron.

"Geez," said Patravi, "I wonder what's gotten into Yuna these days. Could it be that burden she's carrying?"

"It depends," replied Auron.

Auron led Patravi through the rebel base until they reached a balcony.

"Patravi," said Auron, "there's something I want to tell you."

"Does it have to do with that Lucifer guy?" asked Patravi.

Auron nodded.

"Well," said Auron, "Lucifer is an administrator of Yevon like Nero. He also has something to do with your birth."

"What do you mean by that?" asked Patravi.

"Your mother," explained Auron, "was originally married to Lucifer, but he's not your father."

"Then what does that make me?" asked Patravi.

Auron let out a sigh.

"You're a product of adultery," admitted Auron.

"Adultery?" exclaimed Patravi, "but didn't Yevon's teachings say that adultery is looked down upon?"

"Yes," continued Auron, "but adultery can happen if there is no trust between married couples."

"So my mom doesn't trust Lucifer at all?" clarified Patravi.

"Exactly," nodded Auron, "that's because he abused her every day. Like most of the Yevon zealots, Lucifer viewed women as property."

"Then what are your thoughts on women?" asked Patravi.

"I accept them as people," answered Auron, "especially you and your mother, Isolde. Fourteen years ago, Isolde was tired of putting up with the abuse from Lucifer, so she ran away and asked me to shelter her."

"Really?" warbled Patravi.

"Yes," nodded Auron, "I honestly cared about her, and we would've been married if Lucifer hadn't raped her."

"And I thought Nero was creepy," commented Patravi.

"There are some men that are just as sleazy as Nero and Lucifer," replied Auron, "getting back to the subject, you were conceived during the time Isolde and I went into hiding. But then, shortly after she gave birth to you, Isolde was captured by Yevonites."

"So what happened to her?" asked Patravi.

"I hate to say this," answered Auron, "but shortly after her arrest, Isolde was stoned to death, and I lost my status as warrior monk. Despite this, I vowed to protect you since that day."

Patravi felt a chill sent down her spine.

"Wow," said Patravi, "that's actually a lot to take in."

Patravi looked up to the sky and closed her eyes for a brief moment. She then turned her glance at Auron.

"Hey, dad," said Patravi, "do you think I'll find someone I can trust like Yuna did?"

"Yes," replied Auron, "but it's up to you to decide who is trustworthy. Yuna chose Sin because of their trust."

Patravi nodded as she smiled.

Meanwhile, Yuna reached the coast of New Zanarkand, where the Espers were gathering in front of Sin. Among them, Yuna could recognize Ifrit, Ixion, Shiva, Bahamut, Leviathan, Yojimbo, Anima and Exodus. There were also a few more that she didn't recognize. She noted that Exodus and Sin were speaking to each other at the moment. Not wanting to make a scene, she cautiously approached the sandy beach. The next thing she knew, Bahamut turned his glance at her, forcing her to pause in her tracks.

"Bahamut, I…" stammered Yuna.

Bahamut didn't say anything, but he approached Sin.

"Master," said Bahamut, "I hate to interrupt, but did you invite Lady Yuna?"

{Is she here?} asked Sin.

Bahamut nodded, turning his glance at Yuna. The next thing she knew, Sin and the Espers were glancing at her.

"I'm so sorry," panicked Yuna, blushing, "I didn't mean to interrupt you! Do you want me to leave?"

Sin shook his head.

{It would be an honor if you would join us,} said Sin.

"O-Ok," nodded Yuna.

Yuna nervously approached Sin. She noticed that he seemed calm, prompting her to sigh in relief.

"Is this the lady summoner you were referring to?" asked the wasp-like Esper.

Sin nodded.

{The tides have been turned against Yevon because of her,} explained Sin.

Sin turned his glance at Yuna.

{I could've introduced you to the other Espers in the morning,} asked Sin, {but since you elected to show up this evening, are you willing to introduce yourself to them?}

Yuna nodded before turning her glance at the Espers.

"I remember seeing Anima in Bevelle," answered Yuna, "and I have only seen Exodus in my dream that night."

Sin turned his glance at Exodus.

"Shall I introduce the others to her for you?" asked Exodus.

{I welcome your assistance,} nodded Sin.

Yuna approached Exodus, who turned his glance at the Espers.

"Titan, Magus Sisters," requested Exodus, "please come over here."

Titan and the Magus Sisters approached Exodus before glancing at Yuna.

"Nice to meet you," said Yuna, "I'm Yuna."

"I'm Sandy," replied the leader of the Magus Sisters, "this is Cindy and Little Mindy."

"And you can call me Titan," added Titan, "you are one brave summoner."

"T-Thank you," smiled Yuna.

Yuna turned her glance at Exodus.

"You must be Exodus, right?" said Yuna.

"That's right," replied Exodus, "Sin told me about you."

Yuna nodded as the Espers returned their glance at Sin.

{You are all dismissed,} said Sin.

"Wait," paused Yuna, "weren't you in the middle of a discussion?"

{I was just concluding the discussion of Yevon's recent movements when you showed up,} clarified Sin.

"Oh, ok," said Yuna.

Yuna watched as the Espers left for somewhere else as Sin focused his glance at her.

{Now,} said Sin, {was there something you wanted to tell me?}

Yuna nodded as she approached Sin.

"While I was searching for Yojimbo in his cave," reasoned Yuna, "I think I came across Yevon's father. He said that he made some mistakes that probably resulted in Yevon's corruption."

{Interesting,} replied Sin, {I heard from Yojimbo that this man was sealed up inside a statue in that cavern by Yevon himself. I suspected that there might've been a catalyst that caused his thirst for power. Since his own father repented, I was hoping that I would convince Yevon to do the same thing. Unfortunately, the evidence from Mika proved otherwise.}

"I see," whispered Yuna, "is it ok if I rest here?"

{I accept your request,} nodded Sin.

Yuna climbed up onto Sin's back and nestled in for the night.

Meanwhile, Jecht, Tidus, Wakka and Rikku were relaxing in a nearby public bath.

"I had no idea there'd be another Zanarkand, ya?" said Wakka.

"Well," replied Tidus, "that's because we're not allowed to disclose its location if we ever went to the outside world."

"I guess that explains why no one else in Spira knew about it," commented Rikku.

"Remember that war a thousand years ago?" asked Jecht.

"Yeah," nodded Wakka, "it was the same one that destroyed the old Zanarkand."

"Well," explained Jecht, "the Esper Exodus helped the survivors take refuge on this land, so they can recreate a new Zanarkand; one that Yevon can't touch."

"And I guess if Yevon knew of New Zanarkand," added Tidus, "he would probably destroy it."

"So you value this Zanarkand a lot, right?" clarified Rikku.

Tidus nodded.

Jecht then climbed out of the bath and headed for the towel rack.

"Well," said Jecht, "see you at the base."

"Ok," chirped Rikku.

Jecht left the public bath after drying off and getting dressed. Wakka soon turned his glance at Tidus.

"Hey, Tidus," asked Wakka, "do you play Blitzball in Zanarkand?"

"Of course we do," answered Tidus, "and I'm the Star Player of the Zanarkand Abes."

"You're a Blitzball player?!" exclaimed Rikku.

Tidus nodded.

"Then," asked Rikku, "can we hold a Blitzball tournament here after we vanquish Yevon?"

"I think that's up to the Council," answered Tidus, "but I'll keep it in mind."

"Thanks, Tidus!" smiled Rikku.

Wakka climbed out of the bath and headed for the towel rack.

"Ok," said Wakka, "I'm heading back to the base. Don't say up too late, kiddos!"

"Yeah," replied Rikku, "maybe we should get going, too."

"Right," agreed Tidus.

Tidus and Rikku then climbed out of the bath and headed for the towel rack. They and Wakka then got dressed after drying up.

Meanwhile, in Bevelle, Yevon stood at the balcony of the high court. He gritted his teeth as rage began to build up in his eyes. He has just received word that Luca was left standing, and he is starting to lose his patience. Soon, Kinoc showed up before Yevon, who turned his glance at him.

"You are a disgrace!" scolded Yevon, "didn't I order you to demolish Luca? I even had administrator Lucifer to back you up and now he is dead!"

"I was trying to follow your orders, mighty Yevon," explained Kinoc, "we would've succeeded if Sin hadn't shown up."

"Do not take me for a fool, Kinoc!" bellowed Yevon, "if I were you, I would've annihilated Sin along with Luca."

"But Yevon," protested Kinoc, "even you know that Sin is far powerful, and the Dreadnought Mark 2 might not stand a chance against him."

"You are not trying hard enough," countered Yevon, "and you have already lost your second chance. Maester Kinoc, your services are no longer acquired."

Yevon motioned several warrior monks to gather around Kinoc as they aimed their rifles at him. Upon Yevon's signal, they fired at Kinoc's head. Yevon then motioned the warrior monks to drag Kinoc's corpse out of the room as an elite guard approached him.

"Prepare to launch Vegnagun," commanded Yevon, "tomorrow, we're going to test it on the Ronso."

The next morning, Tidus, Rikku, Patravi, Auron, Kimahri, Wakka, Lulu, Seymour, Jecht and Cid hustled toward the coast while bringing along Baralai, Rin, O'aka, Dona, Isaaru, Biran and Yenke with them. There, Sin was waiting as Yuna climbed down his fin before approaching her guardians and their allies.

"So," asked Cid, "have you come up with a plan to beat Yevon?"

"Sorry," answered Yuna, "not yet."

Cid turned his glance at Sin.

"Well," asked Cid, "do you have any ideas?"

{Even with the amount of allies on your side,} responded Sin, {Yevon still has a few weapons he can use to crush your rebellion.}

"And the Dreadnought Mark 2 is one of them, right?" clarified Cid.

Sin nodded. Just then, Auron stepped forward.

"Yuna," reminded Auron, "do you remember what Caius said about Yevon learning forbidden magic?"

"I do," nodded Yuna, "there was also that moment in Mika's sphere when Yevon used one of the forbidden tomes. I wonder if he still has a few of them left."

"He probably would've hidden them in his private chamber," agreed Auron.

"How about we raid Yevon's quarters and steal the tomes from him?" suggested O'aka.

"And destroy the tomes after that?" asked Rin.

"Exactly," nodded O'aka.

"Good point, but I don't think an infiltration mission in Bevelle is a good idea," commented Cid.

"Maybe not," suggested Baralai, "but we could search his private chambers after we get rid of him."

"Ok," mentioned Patravi, "but what about Guadosalam and Kilika? Wouldn't they be under siege, too?"

"There are also the impoverished residents in Bevelle," added Lulu.

"Then," proposed Tidus, "how about we liberate those places?"

"That won't be easy," replied Auron.

"But Tidus has a point," suggested Yuna, "maybe we could split up into teams and take care of the places at the same time."

"Excellent idea, Yuna," grinned Cid, "I like it!"

Just then, Bahamut showed up.

"Master," said Bahamut, "I have grave news.

{What happened?} asked Sin.

Sin leaned in as Bahamut whispered something to him.

{Are you sure about this?} clarified Sin.

"I'm afraid so," nodded Bahamut.

"What's going on?" demanded Yuna.

{Bahamut informed me that Yevon is planning to launch Vegnagun at Mount Gagazet,} explained Sin.

"What?" exclaimed Tidus.

"No," gasped Kimahri.

"Wait a minute," asked Rikku, "what the fuck is Vegnagun?"

"Vegnagun is Yevon's strongest machina in his arsenal," answered Bahamut, "even stronger than the Dreadnought Mark 2, and he used it to destroy the old Zanarkand a thousand years ago."

"How did you find out?" questioned Yuna.

"I saw Yevon bring it out to the Calm Lands," explained Bahamut, "while I was surveying the turmoil in Bevelle."

Yuna turned her glance at Sin.

"Are you going to fight that machina?" asked Yuna.

{For the sake of the Ronso that reside in Mount Gagazet,} answered Sin, {yes.}

"Ok then," nodded Yuna, "I'll help you."

Kimahri, Biran and Yenke stepped forward.

"Kimahri help, too," requested Kimahri.

"Don't forget Biran," added Biran.

"Or Yenke," added Yenke.

Rikku and Tidus stepped forward.

"Can I come along, too?" proposed Rikku.

"Are you sure you're going to be ok?" asked Tidus.

"Don't worry, Tidus," chirped Rikku, "I'll be just fine."

"Ok then," nodded Tidus, "be careful out there."

Tidus turned his glance to the others.

"I guess that leaves us to liberate Kilika, Guadosalam and Bevelle," said Tidus.

"I'll lead the liberation party for Guadosalam," proposed Seymour.

"I'll lead the impoverished residents out of Bevelle," added Isaaru.

"And I'll carry out the liberation of Kilika," finished Dona.

"So it is decided," agreed Rin.

Seymour, Dona and Isaaru began assembling their team members as Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke took a few steps closer to Sin.

{We will be leaving shortly,} said Sin, {are you prepared for battle?}

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

Sin extended his fin.

{Then climb onto my back,} commanded Sin.

Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke jumped up onto Sin's fin before climbing up onto his head. Sin then turned his glance at Bahamut as Seymour, Dona and Isaaru lead their team members toward the airship.

"Master," requested Bahamut, "may I assist you?"

{I accept your request,} agreed Sin, {Bahamut.}

"Thank you," smiled Bahamut, "Master."

Chapter Text

Sin had just glided away from New Zanarkand and was traveling across the ocean with Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke on his back. After a short while, they saw the airship fly by. Rikku then pulled out a couple of onigiri.

"Here," said Rikku, offering the onigiri to Yuna, "I saved these for you."

Yuna accepted the onigiri.

"Thanks," smiled Yuna, "Rikku."

"You're welcome," chirped Rikku, "can't fight on an empty stomach, right?"

Yuna nodded, taking a bite out of an onigiri. Rikku turned her glance at Kimahri.

"Hey, Kimahri," asked Rikku, "do you still have the chocobo feathers with you?"

Kimahri nodded, and then he pulled out two chocobo feathers.

"Here," said Kimahri, handing the chocobo feathers to Rikku.

"Thanks, Kimahri," smiled Rikku, "now I just need to make a trump card that will help us."

Rikku then pulled out a vial and opened its lid before dropping the chocobo feathers into the vial. After closing the lid, she gave the vial a few good shakes. Satisfied that the chocobo feathers blended well with the substance in the vial, Rikku then pulled out a mote capsule and poured the mixed substance into it. She then placed the mote and the empty vial into her pouch.

"Now I'm ready to face Vegnagun," said Rikku, "we'll just have to wait until we get there."

Meanwhile, after dropping off Dona, Barthello, Nooj, Gippal and Paine in Kilika, the airship headed straight for the northern bank of the Moonflow, where Seymour, Auron, Patravi, Jecht and Tidus disembarked. They then headed north into Guadosalam. There, they could see Yevonites all over the city. It wasn't long before the Yevonites laid their eyes on Seymour and his team members.

"It's the traitors," shouted a Yevonite, "after them!"

Without warning, the Yevonites swarmed near the entrance as Seymour, Patravi, Auron, Tidus and Jecht charged into battle.

Meanwhile, Isaaru, Gatta, Baralai, Wakka and Lulu arrived in Bevelle from the Highbridge. To their surprise, there weren't that much Yevonites patrolling the city.

"I wonder if the Yevonites are busy getting ready for war," said Gatta.

"I'm not sure," replied Isaaru, "but you know what we must do, right?"

Gatta nodded.

"All right," declared Baralai, "we have two hours to gather as many homeless residents as possible onto the Highbridge. Go!"

Isaaru, Gatta, Baralai, Wakka and Lulu then ventured deeper into the city through hidden passages.

Meanwhile, Sin and Bahamut arrived at the Calm Lands. Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke climbed down before darting ahead until they were standing in front of Sin as he glanced at Bahamut.

{Bahamut,} instructed Sin, {notify me when the machina is disarmed.}

"Right away," agreed Bahamut.

Sin turned his glance at Yuna.

{I will give you enough time to disarm Vegnagun,} said Sin, {once I extend my wings, that will be your cue to get out of the way as quickly as possible. Understand?}

"Right," nodded Yuna.

Rikku pulled out her mote capsule as she, Yuna, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke took a few steps ahead of Sin.

"This Haste mote will only last half an hour once activated," said Rikku, "I guess we'd better get moving."

Rikku then activated the Haste mote, and Yuna felt a surge of energy flow through her body. She glanced at Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke.

"Let's do this," said Yuna.

Rikku nodded, and then she, Yuna, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke sprinted toward Vegnagun, only at twice the speed. When they reached the massive machina, they split up as they began taking on the different parts of Vegnagun. Biran and Yenke went after the tail, Kimahri went after the leg and Yuna went after the core. She charged up the Eyestaff before launching flares high into the sky. After she gave the Eyestaff a wave, the flares rained down on the core and the bulwarks. Kimahri continuously struck the leg with his spear while Biran and Yenke burned the tail with their Fire Breath ability.

Meanwhile, it seemed that Rikku had a plan of her own. She climbed up the machina until she reached the top of its head, where Yevon was using an organ-like control panel to operate the machina. However, before Rikku could take a few steps closer, Yevon quickly turned his glance at her.

"Don't you dare interfere, heathen," roared Yevon, "this machina is on a schedule!"

"Of course it is," countered Rikku, "on a schedule to failure!"

Yevon charged at Rikku, baring his own fists, but she quickly kicked him in the stomach, forcing him to kneel over in pain. She pulled out a small tracking device and after lifting up Yevon's cloak, she attached the device to the back of his vest. She quickly took a few steps away as he got back to his feet and gazed at her with anger in his eyes.

"See you later," chirped Rikku, "psycho!"

Rikku planted a grenade onto the control panel before jumping off the top of Vegnagun's head. She then slid down the other leg and landed on the ground safely. The grenade exploded, which damaged the control panel, much to Rikku's delight. She then combined a grenade with a Shining Gem before tossing the combination at the leg, which blew it up.

Meanwhile, Yevon's eyes filled with rage as he inspected the damaged control panel. He then made a quick glance at Sin.

"Sin, we meet again," muttered Yevon, "I was going to exterminate the Ronso, but since you decided to show up, I'll just finish you off once and for all!"

Yevon reached underneath the control panel and switched on the emergency toggle.

Meanwhile, Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke gathered in front of Vegnagun.

"Good news," said Rikku, "I blew up the control panel, so we should be safe!"

"But what about its weapon?" asked Yuna.

Just then, Bahamut showed up before Yuna and her allies.

"The weapon is concealed," stated Bahamut, "but Vegnagun is not to be underestimated."

Without warning, Vegnagun opened its mouth, revealing a massive cannon, much to Yuna and Rikku's dismay.

"Wait a minute," spat Rikku, "I thought I blew up the control panel! How can the weapon still be working?"

"Kimahri think weapon doesn't need control panel," replied Kimahri.

Yuna glanced at Bahamut, whose eyes widened in horror as the cannon aimed its position directly at Sin while it began charging up.

"No!" shouted Bahamut.

Bahamut took a jump back and anchored himself to the ground while facing Vegnagun.

"You shall not harm Master Sin ever again!" roared Bahamut.

Bahamut opened his mouth and fired a powerful beam of energy at the cannon, destroying it in the process. He was about to charge at Vegnagun, but…

{Bahamut,} ordered Sin, {that's enough. I will take care of this from here.}

Bahamut nodded before flying toward the eastern side of the Calm Lands. Yuna turned her glance at Sin and noticed that he was just extending his wings. At that moment, she knew that was the cue to move out of the way.

"Rikku!" shouted Yuna.

Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke turned their glance at Yuna.

"Is the mote still in effect?" asked Yuna.

Rikku pulled out the Haste mote from her pouch and examined it for a moment.

"It only has one minute before it wears off," answered Rikku.

"We have thirty seconds to escape the impact zone," announced Yuna, "now!"

Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke then sprinted away from Vegnagun at twice the speed just as Sin summoned a powerful energy sphere that sent a shockwave at Vegnagun. They managed to reach the eastern side safely, and they watched as Sin launched the energy sphere at Vegnagun, which set off a huge explosion that destroyed it. With Vegnagun vanquished, Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke sighed in relief, but then they noticed from a distance that Yevon was staggering as he escaped the scene.

"Heh," taunted Yenke, "Yevon runs like coward!"

"What a shame," teased Biran.

"Hey Yunie," asked Rikku, "do you think we should liberate Macalania next?"

"I'll ask Sin about that," answered Yuna.

Rikku nodded in agreement. Yuna then led Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke towards Sin, who turned his glance at them.

Meanwhile, Isaaru, Gatta, Baralai, Wakka and Lulu have just gathered at the Highbridge, where a few hundred people were standing.

"I can't believe this," muttered Gatta, "so many homeless people died from starvation since Mika's death."

"I know," replied Isaaru.

"At least there are still survivors," added Baralai, "now all we have to do is wait."

Just then, the airship arrived, much to the homeless crowd's confusion. Baralai approached the crowd with a gentle smile.

"People of Spira," said Baralai, "there's no need to be frightened. We're here to take you all to Luca, where you can seek refuge. You don't need to worry about oppression now."

Meanwhile, Seymour's team managed to take out the last of the Yevonites. Seymour approached Tromell, who seemed confused.

"Lord Seymour?" drawled Tromell, "why do you save the Guado when Yevon has labeled you a traitor?"

"Did you think I would simply leave the Guado to be slaughtered by Yevon?" asked Seymour.

"Well, no," answered Tromell.

"See?" smiled Seymour, "I'm sure my father would do the same thing if he were alive."

"Why thank you, Lord Seymour," sighed Tromell, "but there aren't many of us left, now."

"Hey," assured Patravi, "don't let that bring you down. I'm sure you'll make it through just fine no matter what happens."

"Yeah," nodded Tidus, "that's what she said."

Meanwhile, the airship just arrived in Luca, and the homeless refugees began to disembark. At the same time, Baralai and Isaaru met up with Shelinda.

"Have any Yevonites been trying to infiltrate Luca lately?" asked Baralai.

"So far, no," answered Shelinda, "the Crusaders here have been doing well in protecting the city. Where did these refugees come from?"

"We brought them here from Bevelle," replied Isaaru, "they were starving to death since Yevon had the soup kitchens demolished."

"I see," breathed Shelinda, "well, not to worry. I'll make sure they get some good meals as long as they're here."

"Thanks," smiled Baralai.

"You're welcome," replied Shelinda, "I'm also glad the Blitzball players are helping out. Are you heading out soon?"

"After the refugees disembark, yes," nodded Isaaru.

Meanwhile, Sin and Bahamut arrived at Macalania Lake, where Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke disembarked. Just then, Exodus showed up as he approached Bahamut.

"So Vegnagun is destroyed?" inquired Exodus.

"Yes," nodded Bahamut, "Master Sin took care of it."

"See?" grinned Exodus, "you didn't need to take on that weapon by yourself."

"Don't you dare remind me!" growled Bahamut.

"Uh," asked Rikku, "what's going on?"

"I really don't know," replied Yuna.

"You didn't tell Master about it," pestered Exodus, "did you?"

"Shut up!" shouted Bahamut.

Bahamut charged into Exodus, and they instantly began wrestling. Yuna was about to sprint toward the fray, but…

{Let me handle this,} muttered Sin.

Yuna stood back as Sin inched closer and slammed his fin between Bahamut and Exodus, his eyes turning red.

{That's enough, both of you!} roared Sin, {I will not tolerate any form of brawling between Espers in the midst of a crisis. Understand?}

Bahamut and Exodus nervously glanced at Sin. It seemed apparent they realized that they should've known better than to cross a line.

"Yes, Master," sighed Exodus and Bahamut.

Sin withdrew his fin as his eyes returned to normal as Exodus glared at Bahamut.

"All right," sighed Bahamut, "I'll tell him myself."

"Tell him what?" asked Rikku.

Bahamut approached Sin and knelt down.

"Master," confessed Bahamut, "when I first detected Vegnagun, I personally wanted to destroy it myself without getting you involved."

"W-What?" whispered Yuna.

{May I ask why?} asked Sin.

"I'm not sure how to express this," explained Bahamut, "but I didn't want that machina to afflict you just like it did a thousand years ago."

Sin leaned in closer to Bahamut, still gazing at him.

{I understand how you feel,} said Sin, {but that happened a thousand years ago, and I have already overcome this pain. Now that Vegnagun is destroyed, you don't have to be anxious about it.}

"Thank you, Master," smiled Bahamut.

Curious, Yuna approached Sin as Bahamut took a few steps back.

"What was this dispute about?" asked Yuna, "did it have to do with a personal matter?"

Sin turned his glance at Yuna.

{Yevon fired Vegnagun at me shortly after I interrupted the war a thousand years ago,} explained Sin.

Yuna and Rikku gasped in shock.

"Seriously?" exclaimed Rikku.

Yuna placed her hand on Sin's face, anxiety building up in her eyes.

"Sin," whispered Yuna, "I should've known you went through so much pain through all these years."

{It's all right, Yuna,} assured Sin, {it may have been really painful at that time, but I managed to endure it.}

Yuna nodded before returning her glance at Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke.

"Are you ready to liberate the temple?" asked Yuna.

"Let's do it," nodded Kimahri.

Yuna then led Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke through the icy crevasse leading to Macalania Temple.

Chapter Text

Once they reached Macalania Temple, Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke came across only two warrior monks that stood in front of the door.

"Halt!" ordered the male warrior monk, "you have guts returning to the scene of the crime, don't you, summoner?"

"How come you're not attacking us?" asked Yuna.

"Well," answered the female warrior monk, "someone has to guard the temple, and that's our job."

"Even from summoners?" barked Rikku, "that's just fucking lame! Sounds like you're supposed to do something other than that, right?"

"Don't you go smart on me, you heathen!" spat the male warrior monk, aiming his rifle at Rikku.

"But Rikku has a point," replied Yuna, "are you sure this temple is not under siege?"

"The situation is under control right now," nodded the female warrior monk, "why did you come here?"

"We came here to tell you that Yevon will soon use the Ruin to bring Spira to extinction," explained Yuna.

"Bullshit!" barked the male warrior monk, "Sin fed you those lies, didn't he?"

"Sin is God of Balance," countered Kimahri, "God of Balance does not lie even when Spira is in face of danger."

"How is that possible?" exclaimed the female warrior monk, "Yevon taught us that the God of Balance is dead!"

"Actually," replied Yuna, "Sin took to sleep fifty thousand years ago."

"Then what would that make Yevon?" asked the male warrior monk.

"Yevon is liar," answered Yenke.

"And Yevon is insane!" added Biran.

The two warrior monks exchanged glances at each other.

"Have we been fools this whole time?" gasped the male warrior monk.

"Not fools," replied the female warrior monk, shaking her head, "we've been misled."

The warrior monks returned their glance at Yuna.

"Lady Summoner," asked the male warrior monk, "if Sin really is the God of Balance, can we receive forgiveness from him?"

"I'll talk to him about it," answered Yuna, "in the meantime, I suggest you spread this word to the other Yevonites in the temple."

"Right away," nodded the female warrior monk.

After a long hour, Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke escorted several warrior monks to the frozen lake, where Sin and Bahamut were waiting.

"Wait a minute," exclaimed Bahamut, "I thought you were liberating the temple!"

But before Bahamut could charge at the warrior monks, Sin extended his fin in front of him.

{Patience, Bahamut,} persuaded Sin, {I'm sure Yuna has a reason.}

Yuna approached Sin.

"We were about to liberate Macalania Temple," explained Yuna, "but these Yevonites didn't attack us, and they let us reason with them."

{Shall I speak with them?} asked Sin.

Yuna nodded before turning her glance at the warrior monks.

"Darma, Intan," said Yuna, "you may approach."

Yuna stepped aside, compelling Darma, Intan and the other warrior monks to approach Sin. They then knelt down, much to Sin's bewilderment.

"Sin, is there a way you can forgive us?" asked Darma, "we had no idea the teachings of Yevon were nothing but lies."

{It's never too late to seek forgiveness,} replied Sin, {are you willing to risk your life to protect the people of Spira?}

"If that's what you wish," agreed Intan, "we will see to it done."

After a moment of silence, Sin nodded. Darma and Intan got to their feet and approached Yuna.

"Are you sure you are fighting to overthrow Yevon?" asked Intan.

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

"All right, then," agreed Darma, "we will head for Bevelle and escort the slaves to safety."

"Thank you," smiled Yuna.

Darma and Intan turned their glance at the other warrior monks.

"All right," commanded Darma, "this way! We have no time to lose!"

Darma and Intan led the warrior monks past the travel agency and into Macalania Forest.

"Are you sure about this, Master?" asked Bahamut.

{I looked into them,} answered Sin, {they were honest, even with themselves.}

Sin then turned his glance at Yuna.

{We should head back to New Zanarkand,} said Sin.

"Ok," nodded Yuna.

Meanwhile, on the airship, Dona and Isaaru approached Cid, who seemed bewildered.

"What made you think bringing Yevonites onboard was a good idea?" asked Cid.

"They switched sides after we reasoned with them," explained Dona.

"I guess not all Yevonites are evil," commented Isaaru, "do you think we could do the same thing for Djose and Macalania?"

"I think it's a good idea," nodded Dona.

"Well, all right," sighed Cid, "but first, we must pick up Seymour's team, and then we'll fly over to the temples."

"Thank you," smiled Dona and Isaaru.

Meanwhile, Yevon was resting in his private quarters while reading through his tome.

"How could Sin manage to destroy Vegnagun?" thought Yevon, "I thought it was his only weakness! If only I had finished him off a thousand years ago…"

Suddenly, Yevon heard a knock on the door, compelling him to tuck away his tome into his cloak as he stood to his feet. He then approached the door and opened it, and noticed that an administrator stood before him.

"Oh, Administrator Velkin," said Yevon, "have your men finished repairing the Dreadnought Mark 2 yet?"

"We have only managed to repair the main engine," reported Velkin, "but the shield generator is damaged far beyond repair. On the bright side, we used the energy harvested from the Farplane to strengthen the Dreadnought's main cannon. It should be powerful enough to wipe out an entire city with one hit."

"Excellent, Administrator Velkin," praised Yevon.

Yevon and Velkin then sauntered through the corridor until they reached the balcony of the palace. Suddenly, they heard gunshots in the distance, compelling them to glance around the area until they laid their eyes on dozens of warrior monks firing at overseers while ushering the slaves through the streets.

"What is this?" exclaimed Yevon, "a riot?!"

"It looks like our warrior monks are revolting," commented Velkin.

"How is this possible?!" demanded Yevon.

As rage built up in his eyes, he began chanting in a forbidden language that soon summoned small leech-like black creatures from the ground.

"I hope these Slithering Ruin will put them back in their place," muttered Yevon.

Meanwhile, Darma and Intan just began leading the first group of slaves across the Highbridge. Just then, they noticed hordes of Slithering Ruin emerging from the ground.

"What the hell?" exclaimed Darma.

"This must be one of Yevon's tricks!" replied Intan.

The warrior monks began firing at the Slithering Ruin, which startled the slaves. However, Intan and Darma continued to usher them across the Highbridge toward Macalania Forest. Across Bevelle, thousands of warrior monks fired at the Slithering Ruin as these creatures began leaping up into the air.

These creatures seemed to be easy to kill, but then one of them managed to clamp onto a warrior monk's neck and burrowed into it. The Slithering Ruin then mutated the possessed warrior monk to the point where his skin turned black, a doll head appeared on his chest and machina parts grew on his back. To make matters worse, the same thing happened to a few hundred more of warrior monks, including a few of them on the Highbridge. These possessed warrior monks began firing at the slaves, forcing Intan and Darma to take them out.

"I should've known," she commented.

"What do you mean?" asked Darma.

"Those creatures can possess humans," explained Intan, "I don't think there is a way to reverse the effect. We have to keep going."

Darma and Intan continued their task as the other possessed warrior monks began heading for the palace of Bevelle, their gait similar to zombies.

Meanwhile, in New Zanarkand, Sin just returned to New Zanarkand. Yuna, Rikku, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke climbed down his fin and onto the dock.

"Should we head to the base?" asked Rikku.

"Go on ahead," replied Yuna, "I'll catch up with you."

Rikku nodded before she, Kimahri, Biran and Yenke headed out of the dock. Yuna turned her glance at Sin.

"It's kind of funny," said Yuna, "that becoming a summoner would cause all of this to happen."

{Perhaps,} replied Sin, {you do realize it's not over yet, do you?}

Yuna nodded.

"I guess I should wait for the others to return," said Yuna.

Yuna then sat down and gazed at the ocean, relaxing in the ocean breeze.

At sunset, the airship finally arrived as it landed in the airfield. As Yuna sprinted toward the airship, Auron, Tidus, Patravi, Wakka, Lulu, Seymour, Jecht, Darma, Intan and their allies disembarked.

"Hey, Yuna," chirped Patravi, "we nailed our missions with no problem!"

"We managed to escort the slaves to your airship," added Intan, "and they'll be taking refuge here."

"Thank you," smiled Yuna.

"All right," said Auron, "we head back to the base. Tomorrow, we prepare for battle."

After everyone arrived at the base, Intan removed her helmet and pulled out a small device from inside. She then dropped it to the floor and stomped on it.

"Intan," asked Darma, "what are you doing?"

"You should destroy your tracking device, too," suggested Intan, "Yevon could use them against us."

Darma nodded in agreement before removing his helmet, pulling out his tracking device and dropping it on the floor. He then crushed it with his foot.

"Maybe we should tell the other warrior monks to do the same," said Darma.

"Right," nodded Intan.

The next day, Seymour, Auron and Lulu began briefing the rebels on fighting the Ruin as they all geared up for battle. At the same time, Yuna, Cid and the Council of New Zanarkand began discussing safety procedures for the citizens in case Yevon attacks New Zanarkand. All the while, Rikku placed her audio device onto the floor as she, Tidus and Patravi sat in a circle.

"How did you manage to snap a tracking device onto Yevon?" asked Patravi.

"I climbed up onto Vegnagun's head and stunned Yevon temporarily," answered Rikku, "and this is not an ordinary tracking device. It allows me to listen in on his conversations."

"Gotcha," said Tidus.

Rikku turned on the audio device, and then she, Tidus and Patravi leaned in. The sound that was emitted came from what sounded like a conversation.

"This is so irritating!" growled Yevon, "first, the warrior monks revolt, and the next thing I know, the clergy will soon turn against me!"

"Not to worry," assured Velkin, "I had all the clergy in Bevelle imprisoned."

"Boring," muttered Patravi.

"That does not excuse the fact that the remaining warrior monks escaped!" barked Yevon, "Have your men tracked them down?"

"I'm afraid we lost their signal last evening," replied Velkin, "however, we managed to record their previous location before then."

"New Zanarkand?" pondered Tidus.

"I see," said Yevon, "Velkin, have the Dreadnought prepared by evening. We head over there and take out the traitors tomorrow at noon."

"Right away," agreed Velkin.

"What?" gasped Patravi.

"No way!" exclaimed Tidus.

Rikku shut off the audio device before getting onto her feet.

"Oh fuck, this is bad," muttered Rikku, "this is really bad! Bad, bad, bad!"

Rikku glanced around the room until she laid her eyes on Seymour Guado.

"Seymour!" screamed Rikku.

Everyone else in the base, including Seymour, paused at what they were doing and laid their eyes on Rikku.

"Is something the matter?" asked Seymour.

Rikku sauntered toward Seymour with Tidus and Patravi following her.

"I have bad news," announced Rikku, "Yevon found the location of New Zanarkand. He's going to be here tomorrow on the Dreadnought!"

Everyone in the base gasped in horror.

"Damn it!" muttered Intan.

"Did you say something?" asked Wakka.

"All warrior monks are required to be equipped with tracking devices," explained Intan, "so I had them destroyed, but we're already too late."

"Oh, shit," muttered Tidus.

"What do we do?" asked Patravi.

"We have no choice but to fight here," answered Auron.

"Are you fucking kidding?" protested Lulu, "there are thousands of innocent people that live here!"

"Yeah," replied Cid, "but Yevon doesn't give a shit about civilians."

"We should tell Sin about this," suggested Yuna.

Yuna then led Auron, Tidus, Cid, Rikku, Seymour, Patravi and the Council out to the dock, where they relayed the recent information to Sin.

{Are you sure of this?} asked Sin.

"Yes," nodded Yuna, "do you have any ideas?"

{I could destroy the Dreadnought with my power when it reaches the city,} suggested Sin, {for this matter, I will have to ask you to send me a signal when it reaches this city.}

Yuna pulled out the Eyestaff.

"Do the flares from the Eyestaff count as a signal?" asked Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{After I destroy the Dreadnought,} continued Sin, {I will leave it to you and your guardians to find Yevon and bring him out here. Once he is brought to justice for the damage he did, the people of Spira will then gain freedom and the balance of life will be restored.}

"Didn't you come to Spira to end the Machina War a thousand years ago?" asked Yuna.

{Yes,} answered Sin, {the war could've destroyed all of Spira had I not intervened. I could end this war if it gets out of hand, but you know we don't have much of a choice, do we?}

"I understand," nodded Yuna, "but I can handle this."

"All right then," said the eldest councilor, "leave the safety of the citizens to us. Don't let us down, Summoner Yuna."

Chapter Text

Later that night, while everyone rested up for the impending battle, Yuna met up with Sin at the coast of New Zanarkand.

{Are you nervous?} asked Sin.

"A little," answered Yuna, "I just hope we succeed against Yevon. I wonder what he would think if he knew more about you."

{I doubt that Yevon would change his opinion about me, regardless. Even so,} replied Sin, {I faced far worse than what he has inflicted.}

"Then," asked Yuna, "what was the worst thing you ever dealt with?"

Sin didn't say anything, but he turned his glance away from Yuna. Was he anxious?

"Oh great," thought Yuna, "I offended him."

"I-I'm sorry," stammered Yuna, "y-you don't have to tell me about it if you don't want to."

Sin returned his glance at Yuna.

{It's all right,} assured Sin, {I have already overcome what occurred fifty thousand years ago, and I can live with that memory.}

"Fifty thousand years ago?" responded Yuna, "wasn't that the year of that cataclysm?"

Sin nodded.

"Could you tell me more about it?" requested Yuna.

{Are you capable of shouldering this burden?} asked Sin.

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

{Are you sure?} warned Sin, {these visions can frighten you.}

"I'll risk it," insisted Yuna.

{Then close your eyes,} instructed Sin.

Yuna closed her eyes as told while Sin leaned his head closer to her, his eyes beginning to glow. She felt a couple of tendrils caress her back and the back of her head, and then she felt some force of energy enter through her eyelids.

The next thing she knew, Yuna found herself floating above what appears to be a prehistoric Spira, and then a galaxy.

{Three thousand years before the global crisis,} explained Sin, {the Espers and I began keeping an eye out on a nearby star on the brink of its death.}

"Stars can die, too?" thought Yuna.

{I'm afraid so,} replied Sin, {gods are the only beings in the universe that can attain immortality.}

"And I guess gods understand more about the universe than humans do, right?" said Yuna.

{Correct,} replied Sin.

Yuna then found herself gazing at the mentioned star undergoing a supernova.

{Two thousand and five hundred years past,} continued Sin, {the star exploded, and it projected a gamma ray burst directly at Wilderia.}

"Wilderia?" pondered Yuna, confused.

{Wilderia is the name of the planet that Spira resides on,} explained Sin, {and a gamma ray is a powerful form of electromagnetic radiation, but it can be hazardous to life forms.}

Yuna cringed at the sight of the gamma ray burst hitting Wilderia, and then she saw prehistoric animals dying from some sort of plague. Or was it something else?

{The gamma ray burst damaged the atmosphere and several hundred species became extinct,} continued Sin, {as the God of Balance, I am responsible for protecting the balance of life, so the Espers and I had the atmosphere restored and the resulting radiation neutralized. After that, I sent Ramuh to keep an eye out for star fragments.}

Yuna then found herself glancing at a massive star fragment about half the size of the moon floating toward the planet.

{After five hundred years, Ramuh detected a massive star fragment on a collision course,} continued Sin, {I instructed the other Espers to escort the life forms to safety as I prepared to divert the star fragment's path.}

The next thing she knew, Yuna saw prehistoric civilizations beginning to panic. Some of them abandoned their villages while others went to their sages for wisdom as the star fragment inched closer to impact. She then saw a massive volcanic eruption.

{However,} continued Sin, {the planet reacted to the star fragment's presence. Massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occurred across the planet, and I had to reduce the collateral damage.}

Yuna then noticed Sin at an early time as he unleashed a massive energy shield that contained the eruption.

{I may have succeeded,} continued Sin, {but multiple occurrences of these calamities was rather stressful, and even when the strongest of Espers struggled to keep the star fragment at bay, it was too much for them. And then, on that day, our worst fears have been realized.}

Yuna cringed in fear as she saw the star fragment collide with Wilderia, triggering a huge shockwave and massive earthquakes that began tearing apart the terrain.

{There was not much time left when it happened,} continued Sin, {so I used all of my strength to keep the planet from dying.}

Yuna then saw a vision of Sin at the ocean floor, as he planted his fins onto the rocky surface before sending powerful shockwaves into the planet. Several of these shockwaves somehow calmed the roaring quakes.

{Had I not done this,} mentioned Sin, {the planet would've been torn to pieces. I used the last of my strength to prevent the ashes from spreading into the atmosphere before the stress finally took hold of me.}

Yuna then found Sin collapsing to the ocean surface after he released another powerful force that contained the soot and collapsed it into the crater. After a while, an Esper she didn't recognize appeared before Sin.

"Master!" called the Esper, "are you all right?"

Sin glanced at the Esper, still exhausted.

{Alexander,} instructed Sin, {teleport me to Gagazet.}

Alexander then summoned a magical pattern that formed underneath himself and Sin. This pattern teleported them to the ancient shrine of Gagazet, where Exodus and Bahamut were waiting.

{I thank you for your help,} announced Sin, {but now, I must rest.}

"Master," protested Bahamut, "you can't be serious!"

{There is no other way,} replied Sin, {I'm sorry. Wait for ten thousand years; only then you can awaken me safely.}

"What shall we do until that time?" asked Alexander.

{Protect the balance of life in my place,} instructed Sin, {should there be any other crisis before I can awaken safely, seek outside help if needed.}

"Master…" breathed Exodus.

{Do you remember the procedures required to awaken me?} asked Sin.

Alexander, Exodus and Bahamut nodded.

{Then,} concluded Sin, {I'm counting on all of you.}

Sin summoned a barrier that sealed him underneath the shrine as he entered a comatose state.

Just then, the flashback ended. Yuna collapsed to her hands and knees in shock as she gasped for breath.

{Did I frighten you?} asked Sin, {I apologize.}

After a moment of silence, Yuna slowly got back to her feet and glanced at Sin.

"Sin," whispered Yuna, "I'm surprised you've been through so much at that time. I guess I didn't need to rely on the teachings of Yevon to learn more about you."

Yuna then walked up to Sin and embraced onto his face as he stroked her back with his tendrils.

{Yuna, there are times when you can't change the inevitable,} said Sin.

"I know," replied Yuna.

{For now,} suggested Sin, {I advise you get some rest.}

Yuna nodded in agreement as she climbed up Sin's fin and onto his back, where she nestled in for the night.

When morning came in, the rebels began preparing the coast of New Zanarkand for battle after a spot of breakfast. After a while, they assembled at the coast as Yuna, Auron and Cid took several steps ahead before turning their glance at the crowd.

"When Yevon took over Spira a thousand years ago," announced Yuna, "he used fear, violence and deceit. But throughout these years, Sin taught us the teachings of Yevon are nothing but lies. Thanks to Yevon, everyone has lost homes, dreams, and even friends, but this pattern of suffering stops now. This time, we will defy Yevon to the very end. Today, we take back Spira, and rebuild it, with new hopes and new dreams!"

Yuna turned her glance at Auron.

"Sir Auron?" said Yuna.

Auron took a few steps toward the crowd.

"On this day," finished Auron, "Yevon shall be no more!"

Auron then raised his fist high into the air, eliciting a massive cheer from the crowd, including Yuna's guardians. Yuna and Sin glanced at each other with confidence for a moment. Sin then turned his glance into the distance.

"All right," announced Cid, "bnabyna vun pyddma!"

On cue, the rebels scrambled into positions as Sin headed for a suitable place to wait until it was time to strike. After a few final preparations, they were all ready to fight Yevon. The airship hovered ahead of New Zanarkand with Wakka, Lulu, Baralai and Gippal on the deck. Nooj and Paine were in charge of the turrets that lined along the coast as Lucil and Elma kept a lookout for the Dreadnought.

At midday, the Dreadnought rose out of the ocean, although only at a distance.

"Here they come!" shouted Lucil.

Meanwhile, on the airship, Lulu, Wakka, Baralai and Gippal were embracing for battle as the airship intercepted the Dreadnought.

"All right," announced Baralai, "we disarm the Dreadnought before it reaches New Zanarkand. If we are lucky, that will give the God of Balance a chance to finish it off with Giga Graviton. Cid, take us in!"

"Don't be falling now!" replied Cid over the intercom.

The airship hovered closer to the Dreadnought. Not surprisingly, turrets emerged from the massive machina and began firing projectiles at the airship. Fortunately, Lulu took out the projectiles with her Firaga and Flare spells as Baralai and Gippal fired their machine guns at the turrets. Wakka also helped Lulu with taking out the projectiles with his blitzball.

Meanwhile, on the bridge of the Dreadnought, Yevon gazed at New Zanarkand through the window. Standing by his side was administrator Velkin.

"I thought I had Zanarkand destroyed a thousand years ago!" growled Yevon.

"I believe the survivors fled here and built another Zanarkand as backup," replied Velkin.

"Dispatch the troops," commanded Yevon, "I want to wipe this city clean off the map!"

The Dreadnought dispatched smaller ships that accelerated toward New Zanarkand.

Meanwhile, at the coast, swarms of Insidious Ruin, Menacing Ruin, Drifting Ruin and Colossal Ruin began emerging from the ground, and the rebel squadron charged at them. Not a minute later, the smaller ships landed in random places of the coasts and out came wave after wave of possessed Yevonites and swarms of Bitch Babies.

Tidus, Rikku, Gatta, Patravi and dozens of other rebels helped fight the Insidious and Drifting Ruin with Auron. Jecht, Dona and Isaaru fought the Colossal Ruin with Seymour and the Espers. Kimahri, Biran, Yenke, Barthello and Maroda were among the rebels that fought the Menacing Ruin and the Bitch Babies alongside Yuna.

Meanwhile, Lulu, Wakka, Baralai and Gippal took out some of the Dreadnought's turrets, but there were still more to go. To their surprise, a massive turret emerged from the Dreadnought's back and aimed at the airship.

"Heh, I have a nice surprise for Yevon," announced Cid over the intercom, "but you better hold on to something! Here we go!"

Lulu, Wakka, Baralai and Gippal stood their ground as the airship hovered away from the Dreadnought, but its nose turned toward the massive turret, which was starting to charge up. Soon, a large energy gun emerged from the airship and it fired an energy beam at the turret, which set off an explosion.

"Yee-haw!" cheered Cid over the intercom, "that should do the trick! Now we disable the main cannon."

However, just as the airship began aiming for the hull, one of the remaining turrets launched a few projectiles at the airship.

"Watch out!" yelled Lulu.

Unfortunately, the projectiles planted onto the airship's pinwheel engine and exploded.

"Oh, shit!" shouted Cid over the intercom, "everyone, hold onto something! It's going to be a bumpy ride!"

The airship was soon falling out of the sky as it hovered away from the Dreadnought. Fortunately, Brother operated the right controls which allowed the airship to land safely in the water. To add more luck, Lulu, Wakka, Baralai and Gippal survived the fall.

"What about the main cannon?" asked Wakka.

"The main engine is busted," replied Cid over the intercom, "we can only resort to the turrets on the coast, now. And if not, we will resort to the summoner."

"Understood," acknowledged Baralai, pulling out a small device.

Meanwhile, the Dreadnought was hovering closer to New Zanarkand and the rebels began charging up their turrets.

"All right," announced Paine, "aim at the main cannon and the main turrets."

"And don't let the Dreadnought reach the city limits," added Nooj.

Darma and Intan were among the rebels controlling the turrets as they fired at the Dreadnought. Meanwhile, Kimahri received a signal from his device before turning his glance at Yuna.

"Yuna," shouted Kimahri, "go!"

Yuna nodded before scurrying out of the fray. She began racing for the beacon while dodging projectiles of lethal substance from the Drifting Ruin and Bitch Babies. It was only a while before she reached the top of the beacon.

Overhead, she could see the Dreadnought launching projectiles at the turrets, setting off explosions that killed some of the unfortunate victims. She wasted no time as she pulled out the Eyestaff. After charging it up for a brief moment, she launched flares into the sky. Then, after giving the Eyestaff a wave, the flares rained down on the hull. Moments later, Sin emerged from his hiding place as Bahamut flew by the beacon.

"Lady Yuna," said Bahamut, "it's time!"

Yuna nodded as she jumped into Bahamut's arms. Bahamut then flew toward Sin.

"Master," reported Bahamut, "I found Yuna."

{Thank you, Bahamut,} replied Sin.

Yuna jumped onto Sin's back before Bahamut flew back into the fray.

{Yuna,} instructed Sin, {brace yourself.}

Yuna nodded before embracing onto one of the structures on his head while keeping her gaze at the Dreadnought.

Meanwhile, on the bridge of the Dreadnought, the crew inside were just recovering from the recent blow to the hull. All the while, Yevon gazed at Sin, his eyes burning with rage.

"It's Sin," shouted Yevon, "after him!"

"Release the main cannon!" commanded Velkin.

As the Dreadnought hovered closer to Sin, it revealed its main cannon from its hull, aiming at New Zanarkand. At the coast, the rebels gasped in horror at the sight. Darma and Intan fired their turrets at the main cannon, but to their surprise, it did little damage. The Dreadnought then launched projectiles onto the coast, which triggered more explosions that killed some unlucky rebels, including Gatta, Yenke, Biran and Maroda.

The Dreadnought's main cannon began charging up energy, but Sin quickly turned his glance at it, his eyes beginning to glow and his skin slowly turning a darker color. He even sprouted his wings.

{Not this time, Yevon,} growled Sin.

Sin summoned an energy sphere which sent a shockwave across the coast of New Zanarkand as he gradually opened his mouth. He then launched the energy sphere at the Dreadnought, triggering explosions that not only destroyed the main cannon, but it also wrecked the Dreadnought itself.

Yuna sighed in relief as the Dreadnought collapsed to the ground, but she knew that it's not over yet.

Chapter Text

Sin lowered Yuna to the ground as he returned from his trance. She reunited with Tidus, Rikku, Patravi, Auron, Kimahri and Jecht as Leviathan carried Lulu, Wakka, Cid, Brother, Baralai and Gippal to shore.

"We did it, Yuna," cheered Patravi, "we took down the Dreadnought!"

"You should thank Sin for that endeavor," replied Yuna.

Lulu and Wakka soon joined in.

"At least we've weakened Yevon somehow," said Lulu.

"Yeah," chirped Rikku, "we're winning!"

"It's not over yet," interrupted Auron, "I'm sure Yevon is still alive."

"Yeah, sure," moaned Tidus sarcastically, "you can always count on Auron to complicate things!"

Tidus was about to storm off, but Jecht stood in the way.

"Hold on there, son," paused Jecht, "you're not planning to run away, are you?"

"What?" exclaimed Tidus, "no way!"

"Is that so," pestered Jecht, "I'll bet you're still trying to master the Jecht Shot, aren't you?"

"Enough with the mockery," grumbled Tidus, "old man!"

"Wait," paused Yuna, "the Jecht Shot?"

Jecht made a glance at Yuna.

"How about I show it to you?" proposed Jecht.

Yuna nodded, but then…

"Hold on a sec," interrupted Tidus, "why not let me give it a shot?"

"Good luck on that one, kid," taunted Jecht.

Jecht then gestured for Wakka to place down his blitzball. The next thing he knew, Tidus kicked the blitzball into the nearest wrecked turret and it bounced back. He responded by kicking it back into the wall and then punched it into the air. He then jumped up while twirling in midair before giving the blitzball a good kick. Unfortunately, the blitzball slammed directly into Wakka's stomach, sending him falling onto his butt.

"Sorry, Wakka!" called Tidus.

As Wakka got back to his feet, Tidus returned his glance at Jecht, whose eyes widened in surprise.

"I've been practicing," said Tidus.

Jecht didn't say anything, but he approached Tidus and gave him a noogie.

"Hey," protested Tidus, "let me go!"

Jecht let go and glanced into Tidus's eyes.

"I didn't expect this," said Jecht, "but I'm proud of you."

"Well," replied Tidus, placing his hand over his head, "thanks, dad."

"I hate to say this," interrupted Lulu, "but we need to get going."

"Right," nodded Tidus and Jecht.

Meanwhile, Yevon wandered around the bridge of the Dreadnought, taking in the sight of the corpses scattered around. Of course, Velkin is also dead, as a large piece of rubble was impaled into his torso.

"Hmph," scoffed Yevon, "I guess I'll have to take care of my goal myself."

Yevon then absorbed the souls of the corpses, including Velkin's. He soon began mutating into a grotesque version of himself.

Meanwhile, Yuna, her guardians and Jecht gathered in front of the wrecked Dreadnought.

"Ok," said Yuna, "we're going in."

"Kimahri ready," replied Kimahri.

"I'd better do this for my brother's sake," muttered Wakka.

"I'm sure Chappu would be happy for you, Wakka," nodded Lulu.

"I guess there's no going back, now," sang Patravi.

"Yeah," replied Tidus, "every blitzer knows that when you got the ball, you gotta score."

"Foolhardy," commented Auron, "but a fun plan."

"Yeah," added Jecht, "I'll show that Yevon guy who's the best."

"Ok, let's get to work!" chirped Rikku.

Yuna pulled out the Eyestaff and fired a beam of energy at the hull of the Dreadnought. The resulting explosion created a hole in the massive machina. She, her guardians and Jecht then raced up toward the hull, and they found themselves in the bridge after entering the hole. To their surprise, Yevon's body consisted of the Ruin substance with doll heads on his chest and his hands.

"So," sneered Yevon, "we meet again, treacherous summoner."

"You're the traitor here!" snapped Yuna, "you caused too much pain and suffering for all of us, even my father!"

"Your tyranny will soon come to an end, Yevon," glowered Auron.

"That's where you are all wrong," countered Yevon, "even when you have destroyed the Final Summoning, you are already too late! Soon, Spira will become a land of the dead, and the rest of the world will soon follow! And even Sin will soon fall to his death."

"You wouldn't," gasped Yuna, cringing at the thought of losing Sin.

"Don't you see?" declared Yevon, "only the power of death truly commands in this world!"

"That's bullshit!" yelled Patravi.

"Yeah, that's right!" added Jecht, "how about I give you your own taste of medicine?"

"Sir Jecht…" whispered Yuna.

With his sword in his hands, Jecht charged at Yevon. However, Yevon quickly extended his hand at Jecht, who instantly dissolved into pyreflies while screaming in pain as his soul was quickly absorbed by Yevon.

"Dad," shouted Tidus, "no!"

Tidus glanced at Yevon, rage in his eyes.

"You'll pay for that one," roared Tidus, "you miserable dipshit!"

Just as Tidus was about to charge into battle, Yevon unleashed a powerful shockwave that knocked Yuna and her guardians off their feet. After they got back to their feet, Yevon was nowhere to be seen.

"Huh? Where did he go?" asked Rikku.

Kimahri glanced up at the sky, and pointed upwards.

"Up there," said Kimahri.

Yuna and her guardians looked up into the sky, and laid their eyes on a massive rocky platform floating in midair. Wait, is that Yevon's doing?

Meanwhile, across the coasts of New Zanarkand, the remaining Ruin dove back into the ground, much to the surviving rebels' confusion. They soon gasped in horror as the terrain began to decay and the ocean gradually became polluted, much to Leviathan's dismay.

Of course, Yuna and her guardians cringed at this horrible sight while climbing up to the top of the Dreadnought.

"This could be bad," muttered Auron.

"How are we supposed to get up there?" asked Patravi, pointing at the floating platform.

Just then, Sin appeared before Yuna and her guardians as he extended his fin.

{Climb on,} commanded Sin, {we're losing time!}

Yuna nodded before leading her guardians up Sin's fin and onto his back.

Meanwhile, on top of the floating platform, Yevon grew into an even bigger size as the sky began to turn dark. He then laid his eyes on Sin, who just ascended into the sky with Yuna and her guardians on his back.

"You are one persistent heathen," hissed Yevon, "you never show any mercy to the man who is trying to end suffering for all of Spira."

Sin's eyes instantly turned red.

{Where was that mercy when you slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent lives over a thousand years, Yevon?} roared Sin, {your cruel obsession has violated the balance of life! Since no one can get through to you, you leave me no choice.}

Sin extended his fin onto the platform, compelling Yuna and her guardians to jump off his back and onto the platform. At the same time, Bahamut showed up.

"I've been waiting for this day," said Bahamut, "when Yevon meets his tragic demise."

"Well," replied Yuna, "it all comes down to this."

With their weapons at the ready, Yuna and her guardians charged into battle. Wakka whacked at the doll heads with his blitzball. Lulu burned Yevon with her Flare spells as Yuna zapped him with her Holy spells. Tidus, Patravi and Auron swung their blades at Yevon while dodging his swing attacks. Kimahri landed a few strikes with his spear while he occasionally unleashed his Fire Breath at Yevon. Rikku combined a grenade with a Shining Gem and flung it at Yevon, which led to an explosion that blew off one of Yevon's arms as he shrieked in pain.

Enraged, Yevon pulled out a projectile of the lethal substance with his other hand and flung it at Rikku. However, Auron sprinted in the way and took the hit instead, the projectile impaling him directly in the chest as he collapsed in pain. Upon seeing Auron collapse, Patravi's eyes widened in horror.

"Dad!" screamed Patravi.

Patravi turned her glance at Yevon, anger burning in her eyes, and began charging at him. However, Yevon grabbed her by the waist and flung her at Rikku, sending them both crashing to the ground. He then slammed his fist into the ground, triggering a shockwave that knocked Wakka and Lulu off of their feet. Yevon then swung his arm at Tidus and Kimahri, knocking them to the ground. He then punched Bahamut in the jaw before turning his glance at Yuna.

"Today is the day you die, heathen summoner!" bellowed Yevon.

Yevon then fired a powerful energy beam at Yuna. She closed her eyes as she braced for the impact, but much to her surprise, she didn't get hit. She opened her eyes and laid her eyes on…

"Sin!" gasped Yuna.

"What?" roared Yevon.

Yuna quickly realized that Sin quickly generated an energy shield and threw his fins in front of Yuna at the last second. He withdrew his fins as he focused his eyes on Yuna.

{Are you all right?} asked Sin.

"Thank you," smiled Yuna.

Yuna and Sin turned their glance at Yevon as Bahamut recovered from the punch.

{Now,} said Sin, {we shall end this.}

After nodding in agreement, Yuna flung her turquoise blade at the doll head in Yevon's chest. She then pulled out her Eyestaff and fired an energy beam that destroyed the doll head on Yevon's chest. With Yevon roaring in agony, Bahamut anchored himself to the ground, opened his mouth and fired a beam of energy that burned Yevon's face. Bahamut and Yuna then moved out of the way as Sin sprouted wings. He then summoned an energy sphere which he launched at Yevon, nearly crushing him with the pressure.

Yevon's Ruin-composed body soon began to dissolve, and his normal self collapsed to the ground. Meanwhile, Yuna's guardians got back to their feet. Well, except for Auron. Patravi sprinted toward Auron and knelt down by his side.

"Dad," cried Patravi, "please get up! You have to get up! We beat Yevon, so it's over now!"

Auron turned his glance at Patravi.

"You're right, Patravi," smiled Auron, "it is over. But now, you're going to have to live on without me."

"What?" gasped Patravi, "no! No way! I'm not letting you die!"

Just then, Yuna and the rest of her guardians glanced at Patravi and Auron.

"Sir Auron," whispered Yuna.

Auron placed his hand on Patravi's cheek.

"I'm sure that your mother would've wanted you to live on just like I did," continued Auron, "even to the end, I still love you both."

"Dad, please," begged Patravi.

"Patravi," finished Auron, "this is your story now."

Just then, Auron closed his eyes as he went limp, his hand falling to his stomach. Kimahri knelt down next to Patravi as she broke down in tears. He placed his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. While Yuna and her guardians mourned for their fallen ally, Sin glanced at Auron in a brief moment of grief before leaning his head closer to Yevon, who was barely breathing.

"Sin," choked Yevon, "why do you pester me with your anger and pity?"

{It was your actions that led to your downfall,} said Sin, {but more importantly, it was your obsession with death that led to your insanity.}

"Is that so?" chuckled Yevon, "then tell me, Sin. What are you?"

{You may have not realized it until now,} answered Sin, {but I am the God of Balance.}

"So I've been a fool all along," sighed Yevon, "I thought the God of Balance was dead. Shall I beg for forgiveness?"

Sin shook his head.

{It is too late for forgiveness,} replied Sin, {but you are fortunate you have realized your mistakes. You didn't need to force everyone to suffer for your obsession.}

Yevon made a glance at Yuna and her guardians before returning his glance at Sin.

"You're right," choked Yevon, "maybe I do deserve to die. Just kill me and get it over with."

{Well,} replied Sin, {I could ensure you a painless death.}

Sin placed a claw of his fin on Yevon's shoulder.

{I hereby release you from your misery,} announced Sin.

Sin sent a surge of energy into Yevon, which killed him as he closed his eyes. As Sin withdrew his fin, Yuna noticed swarms of pyreflies coalescing into figures. Among them are Mika, Jecht, Chappu, Braska and Kissa.

"Dad?" gasped Yuna.

"Thank you for freeing us, Yuna," smiled Braska.

Yuna sprinted towards Braska and embraced to him for a brief moment. After that, Yuna turned her glance at her mom and Kissa.

"Yuna," smiled Kissa, "you came back for us."

Yuna nodded.

"Mom, Kissa," said Yuna, "I'm sorry I wasn't able to save you back then."

"We know, Yuna," replied Yuna's mom, "but what matters is that you're still alive."

Braska turned his glance at Sin.

"Sin," smiled Braska, "thank you for protecting my daughter."

Sin's eyes turned green.

{I appreciate your gratitude, Braska,} replied Sin.

Mika then approached Yuna.

"Now that Yevon has been vanquished," praised Mika, "Spira will finally see an age of prosperity. I'm so proud of you, Yuna."

"Thank you, Mika," nodded Yuna.

Meanwhile, Wakka approached Chappu.

"Hey, Chappu!" smiled Wakka, "long time, no see!"

Wakka and Chappu gave each other a high five.

"Yeah," replied Chappu, "you too, Wakka. How is Lulu doing?"

"She's doing fine," answered Wakka, "by the way, do you see that boy over there?"

Wakka gestured for Chappu to glance at Tidus.

"Yeah, what about him?" asked Chappu.

"I thought he looked like you, but then I brushed off that silly idea," explained Wakka, "then again, I gave your sword to Patravi first, and then she gave it to him."

"Does he like it?" asked Chappu.

"Yep," nodded Wakka.

"I kinda see that," agreed Chappu, "well, since I'm not alive anymore, why don't you do me a favor and keep Lulu happy?"

"Really?" mused Lulu, approaching the brothers, "I'm sure I can expect some fun from you, Wakka."

"Yeah, kinda," muttered Wakka as he placed his hand on the back of his head.

Meanwhile, Tidus and Jecht embraced each other for a long moment.

"Well," said Jecht, "I guess this is where we say goodbye."

"Why?" asked Tidus.

"I'm not alive anymore, remember?" reminded Jecht.

"Oh, that's right," muttered Tidus.

Tidus and Jecht broke off the embrace as tears welled up in Tidus's eyes.

"I'm going to miss you," bleated Tidus.

"I'm gonna miss you, too," replied Jecht, "but hey, you got a bright future ahead of you, son. So, why don't you cheer up for me?"

Tidus looked up at Jecht and gave a smile. At the same time, Braska placed a kiss on Yuna's forehead before stepping back.

"I guess it's my time to go as well," said Braska, "remember, Yuna, you can always find us in the Farplane."

Yuna nodded. She then performed the sending. Within a brief moment, Yevon, Auron, Mika, Braska, his wife, Jecht, Chappu, Kissa and several thousand unsent people dissolved into pyreflies.

"Goodbye," whispered Kissa.

Chapter Text

After completing the sending, Yuna found a tome lying underneath Sin. She glanced at him after picking it up.

"I think this is the tome Yevon used to summon the Ruin," said Yuna.

{Let me dispose of it,} instructed Sin, {so no one will repeat the same mistake.}

Yuna held out the tome in front of Sin. He then summoned an energy beam that vaporized the tome out of her hand. After that, Yuna turned her glance at her guardians and Bahamut as they approach her.

"I guess this means Spira is free," smiled Yuna, "everyone, thank you for your help."

"Your welcome," replied Tidus.

"But then," paused Patravi, "what about my dad?"

"I'm sure Sir Auron is proud of you," assured Lulu, "don't forget that."

"Thanks, Lulu," replied Patravi.

Yuna and her guardians turned their glance at Sin.

{We may have lost a few of our allies in this journey,} said Sin, {but the effort is worth it in the end.}

Sin turned his glance at Bahamut.

{Bahamut,} instructed Sin, {inform the other Espers that the crisis is over, and tell them to assemble at the coast at dusk.}

"Right away," agreed Bahamut, "Master."

Sin returned his glance at Yuna and her guardians as Bahamut flew off the rocky platform that is now starting to crumble away. Sin extended his fin, compelling them to climb on.

Meanwhile, the surviving rebels rejoiced as the sky turned bright and the terrain and the ocean returned to normal. They're even more amazed that the Ruin vanished without a trace. Dona and Isaaru have just performed the sending for the fallen allies, and the rest of the airship crew made it to shore safely. The survivors looked up into the sky as Sin descended to the ground with Yuna and her guardians on his back. After they disembarked, they rejoined with Cid, Baralai and Seymour.

"Spira is ours again," announced Yuna, "Yevon is finally dead."

"Finally," sighed Cid in relief, "after one thousand years!"

"You never cease to amaze me, Yuna," smiled Seymour.

"How about we spread the news to all of Spira?" suggested Baralai.

Yuna nodded in agreement. By late afternoon, she, her guardians and their allies stood before the Council of New Zanarkand in the dome.

"Never did we anticipate a daring endeavor like this," announced the eldest councilor, "but we thank all of you for protecting New Zanarkand. Perhaps we shall open up to the rest of Spira once again."

"Thank you," nodded Yuna.

Yuna turned her glance at Baralai.

"Well," said Yuna, "you said you have an idea about a republican government, right?"

"Yeah," replied Baralai, "one where all the people of Spira have rights. Perhaps you could lead us?"

Yuna shook her head.

"I'm not interested in politics," explained Yuna, "sorry."

"Maybe not," suggested Baralai, "but perhaps you could interpret the will of the God of Balance?"

"I'll think about it," replied Yuna.

Baralai turned his glance at Seymour, Cid and Kimahri.

"I guess we all agree that we could be the representative leaders of each race, right?" said Baralai.

"I'll be more than happy to lead the Guado to a bright future," nodded Seymour, "just like my father wanted."

"So how do we celebrate our victory?" asked Cid.

Tidus approached Cid.

"We could hold a Blitzball game here in a few days," suggested Tidus.

"Good idea, Tidus," smiled Cid, "I like it!"

While everyone else is in the middle of the conversation, Yuna turned to leave the dome, but she was intercepted by Lulu.

"Yuna," asked Lulu, "where are you going?"

"I need a moment," answered Yuna.

"All right, then," nodded Lulu.

Yuna seized the opportunity as she sprinted out of the dome and wandered through the streets. Soon, she managed to reach the coast of New Zanarkand, where Sin was dismissing the Espers. After dismissing Bahamut, Sin laid his eyes on Yuna, who just approached him on the pier.

{Yuna?} pondered Sin.

"So you're still here," sighed Yuna.

Sin nodded.

{Yuna,} said Sin, {I should thank you for helping me save Spira from not only oppression, but also extinction. You have my honor.}

"You're welcome. I'm glad that I met you ten years ago," smiled Yuna, "I'm also happy that you were there for me when I most needed it."

Sin leaned his head closer to Yuna.

{I am grateful, Yuna,} said Sin, {however, I have to go.}

"W-Why?" asked Yuna.

{As the God of Balance,} explained Sin, {I have to protect the balance of life in not just Spira, but also the rest of Wilderia. Because of this, I cannot stay by your side all the time. Even if you're my soul mate, we will have to live separate lives.}

"No," thought Yuna.

Yuna shook her head in disbelief as she tried to hold back her tears.

{I understand how you feel,} said Sin, {but I need you to understand that I liberated Spira so you could live life without fear of oppression.}

"Sin, will I ever see you again?" asked Yuna, tears welling up in her eyes.

{I don't know,} answered Sin, {but I'll always remember you.}

Yuna embraced herself onto Sin's face, tears trickling down her face.

"Sin," muttered Yuna, "I'm going to miss you."

{I know, Yuna,} replied Sin.

After a long while, Yuna released her embrace as she glanced back into Sin's eyes.

{Well,} suggested Sin, {we could meet up again once each year in either the shrine of Mount Gagazet or in Besaid Island. Is that acceptable to you?}

"Yes," nodded Yuna.

Yuna planted a kiss on Sin's face.

{I have to go now, Yuna,} said Sin, {I love you.}

"I love you, too," smiled Yuna.

Yuna took a few steps back as Sin turned toward the distance and glided out from New Zanarkand. Just then, Tidus, Rikku and Patravi showed up on the pier.

"Hey, Yunie!" chirped Rikku, "Dad is getting the airship ready to retrieve the Blitzball players. Are you going with him?"

"No, I think I'll stay here for a while," replied Yuna.

Yuna turned her glance at Tidus.

"Maybe you could show us New Zanarkand?" asked Yuna.

"I'll take you on a tour after the tournament," proposed Tidus, "how does that sound?"

"That's sounds great, Tidus!" smiled Rikku.

Patravi glanced out into the distance and noticed that Sin was submerging into the ocean.

"Oh, darn it," sighed Patravi, "Sin left without saying goodbye!"

"Actually," corrected Yuna, "I already said goodbye to him."

"Oh, sorry about that, Yuna," chuckled Patravi.

Just then, Patravi noticed that Yuna seemed sad.

"Hey, Yuna," asked Patravi, "are you ok?"

"N-Not really," answered Yuna, "but I will be."

A few days later, the Blitzball players were all gathering up in the locker room, excited for the upcoming game. Tidus, Wakka, Bickson, Vuroja, Berrik, Basik Ronso and Giera Guado were just beginning to discuss their matches.

"So," said Tidus, "have you decided which teams should go first?"

"Well," replied Bickson, "Vuroja volunteered to send his team into the first match. Wakka and I are trying to figure out which team to pair up with the Kilika Beasts."

"Do you have any ideas, Tidus?" asked Wakka.

"I'm kinda thinking about sending either the Besaid Aurochs or the Luca Goers," suggested Tidus.

"Well," commented Bickson, "that sounds convenient. How about a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors?"

"Bring it on," replied Wakka.

Bickson and Wakka then extended their fists before each other.

"Rock, Paper, Scissors!" declared Wakka and Bickson.

Bickson made an open hand with fingers extended and touching, while Wakka extended two fingers and spread them apart.

"Ha," taunted Wakka, "looks like the Aurochs are taking on the Beasts today."

"Oh, boy," muttered Bickson.

"Look on the bright side, Bickson," assured Tidus, "you could always wait for the next match, right?"

"Whatever, Tidus," scoffed Bickson.

"All right then," announced Tidus, "let's go! The game is about to start!"

Meanwhile, at the stadium, Yuna, Rikku and Patravi found some suitable seats where they got a decent view of the sphere pool.

"Wow, I'm so excited," smiled Patravi, "I can't wait for Tidus to make his appearance!"

"I'm sure we'll see him when he plays in the final match," replied Yuna.

"I most certainly hope so," chirped Rikku, "I'm also looking forward to my first date."

"Really?" exclaimed Patravi, "with Tidus?"

"Yep," nodded Rikku.

"Well," smiled Yuna, "good for you, Rikku."

Soon, the councilors of New Zanarkand emerged from the archway leading to their stadium box.

"Welcome, everyone," announced the eldest councilor, "to our first national Blitzball league. Now that Yevon is no more, we have invited team players from Spira to celebrate this joyous event."

The entire audience let out an applause.

"Our first match will be the Besaid Aurochs with the Kilika Beasts," added the youngest councilor.

Just then, the Besaid Aurochs and the Kilika Beasts entered the stadium, which elicited a massive cheer from the audience as the Blitzball players got ready to enter the sphere pool.

"Hey," chirped Rikku, pointing at Wakka, "there's Wakka!"

"We also have the Luca Goers, the Al Bhed Psyches, the Ronso Fangs, and the Guado Glories," continued the youngest councilor, "at the end of the day, one of these teams will win a chance to compete with either the Zanarkand Abes or the Zanarkand Duggles."

"Let the games begin!" concluded the eldest councilor.

The Besaid Aurochs and the Kilika Beasts soon jumped into the sphere pool as the match began. Yuna smiled, knowing that she helped change Spira's future for the better.