“SEE LUNA SAFE TO ALTISSIA” - part 4
Pair: Nyx Ulric / Lunafreya Nox Fleuret
Previously: AO3 link
Plot: Luna and Nyx didn’t fell in the Empire’s trap, Nyx didn’t had to use the ring and he survived. What would have happened if Nyx really had the chance to ‘see Luna safe to Altissia’, like he promised to Regis? Here the part 4: Nyx and Luna leave Lestallum, headed to the Disc of Cauthess, ready to wake up the Titan and fulfill their destiny.
Personal Comment: I promised this chapter would be long, but it’s actually shorter than I expected, lol, forgive me. But now the story gets slowly interesting. I hope you like the ideas I had to explain things that in the game were never explained xD
The healing session, as Luna called it, was short and it took place just one hour after Vyv’s article was published on the newspaper. Nyx escorted Luna under a marquee which was situated not very far from Lestallum and then watched over her closely as she used her powers to help everyone was in need. It was impressive how many people came even if they had so little time to prepare. Nyx tried to imagine how huge the crowd would have been if only they announced the event earlier.
As the Glaive and Oracle headed to their designation, the soldier noticed collections of graffiti on the walls throughout the city. There were quite a few probably written by delinquents like Dis Town Iz 2 hot 4 U, but the phrase that stuck out to him the most was a proclamation, a beacon of hope: Long live the Oracle.
Once again, it hit him the way how Lunafreya was loved and almost worshiped by everyone. Just mentioning her name got people got emotional and waterworks cannot be stopped in time. If he was in her place, he wouldn’t be able to bear the burden of their expectations and all he was able to think about was that the princess shouldn’t have either. It was true indeed, she was special, with special powers and a special destiny to fulfill (even though he still didn’t get the clear picture about that destiny either). But as far as he could see, she was human, too. An elegant princess with white magic destined to be the beloved bride to be of Prince Noctis, but also the girl who likes cream in her Ebony and who wants to buy only fancy dresses at the market.
“Don’t push yourself,” he whispered after she healed the first girl, touching her elbow. “You don’t owe anything to these people.”
But Luna’s thoughts were adverse to the concern. She watched as the small crowd came by, with hope in their eyes, and she just couldn’t follow Nyx’s instructions anymore. He was right, she owed nothing to them, but at the same time, her gift afforded responsibility in using it for the others’ sake. Oracles don’t have the luxury of being selfish or to exclude anyone from treatment. She was born to serve humanity.
In that very moment, a man afflicted by the Starscourge was brought in her proximity. He sat on a brink of considerable pain, breathing heavily and looking numb. Luna shook off Nyx’s hand and went straight to the sick man. Nyx couldn’t do anything but rolling eyes.
“Lady Lunafreya…” The sick stranger said, lifting his eyes to watch her. She was deeply touched by his condition. He had black spotches on his pallid skin, clearly marking the long progression of the illness. The ailment had already deformed his face.
“Please, set your heart at rest. I shall do what I can to ease your suffering” Luna whispered, swallowing. Sighing deeply, she had to be strong to give courage to these people. She gently cupped his cheeks, trying to be as delicate as she could and started to pray, “Blessed stars of life and light, deliver us from darkness’s blight.” The magic was successful, but left her exhausted. “That is all I can do for now, but trust that relief will come in a matter of days.” She nodded, trying to hide her tiredness.
“It’s a miracle! Oh, bless you. Thank you, Lady Lunafreya.” Seeing the relief in his eyes made Luna’s day.
Nyx stepped closer once again, speaking a bit more harshly this time: “Okay, Princess, we’re done here now–”
“Oh, Lady Lunafreya!” A old lady yelled, stealing Luna’s attention away from him once again. Nyx eye rolled… again. “I left on foot from my house to come see you.”
“You must be exhausted.” Luna said, helping her walking. When she got herself comfortable, Luna decided to heal her too, but after that Nyx had really to impose his way.
“I know you won’t like what I am about to say, but we really have to leave now. Soon the Empire will know about you being here and they will come to look for you in Lestallum. If we want to sneak in the Disc of Cauthess unnoticed we have to go now.”
“But all these people–”
“It’s your destiny we’re trying to fulfill here, not mine” he replied, raising his eyebrows in a peremptory way.
Luna squeezed her eyes and then finally nodded. Nyx was right, healing people was important, but waking up the Astrals and give the ring to Noctis was even more important. She let him take her by the hand.
“Alright, guys, the show is over!” Nyx called out as he pulled the princess away.
They got in the car as fast as they could.
“No GPS. We can’t have the Empire finding a Tenebraean car fleetingly away from Lestallum right now, can we?”
“Do you know the way?” Luna asked, tying the belt.
Nyx smirked. “Of course, Your Highness.”
Luna felt asleep pretty fast after their departure. Nyx was expecting this: so, even though she wouldn’t have ever admit it, healing people really tired her so much she had to sleep for hours immediately after.
Goodness, that girl was really stubborn, why couldn’t she just confess it when he asked? Actually, Nyx had have multiple times the impression that Lunafreya was hiding something. Maybe even something dangerous. But even though he had a lot of questions about the whole situation - about the Six, about Prince Noctis, about the Oracle herself - Nyx had decided to not insist and to not force her to talk. The Princess literally begged him to trust her and that he would have do. The reason? For the Astrals’ sake, Nyx didn’t have any reason. Actually, he had more reasons to NOT trust her: afterall, she was the crazy lady who had the heart to jump from a 20 meters high flying airship on her heels just to have the chance to go back to King Regis.
Nyx sighed deeply. The road ahead was clear and the bright sun warmed his bones throughout the window. He tried to keep his eyes focused on the road but they were constantly slipping on his right, where the princess rested. Why was he so worried? She was just having a nap.
He lengthened a hand and gently caressed her cheek, moving away a rebel lock of hair from her face. She moaned in her sleep because of his gesture, but didn’t wake up.
Somewhere deep in his heart, Nyx had a bad feeling about all this.
Luna opened her eyes with the usual difficulty of the last time.
“What happened?” she asked, noticing they were at a gas station.
“We’re going to have our last pit stop before the big event at the Disc. Five minutes only. I thought you wanted to have some time for yourself to concentrate for whatever you have to do there. … Or maybe just some time to use the bathroom or have an Ebony to wake you up” he said, with a small smile.
“Oh, yes…” Luna answered, grabbing a bag from the backseat and getting out of the car. It was late afternoon already and soon, dusk. She had slept for a long time. “I’m sorry, Nyx.”
Somehow, Nyx understood what she was trying to say. Luna was not apologizing for sleeping so long, she was apologizing because she still couldn’t explain him the reason beyond her half-truths and hidden purposes.
Nyx rested his elbows on the rooftop of the car and wave at her with two fingers.
“It’s okay. Take your time now.”
Luna smiled, innerly glad for his empathy. That attitude made of him the closest thing to a friend she had right now. A diligent guardian. A loyal supporter.
After five minutes, Luna came back wearing the long white dress she bought in Lestallum.
“You must be kidding me” Nyx murmured, gulping at the sight of it.
“Do I look terrible?” Luna asked as she turned on her heels, worried by his reaction.
Nyx made a funny expression which was a mix between embarrassment and exasperation. “No! I mean, yes! Yes, you’re gorgeous, but that’s—”
“Gorgeous?” Luna stopped her twirl to look at him with surprise.
“What I mean is that,” Nyx quickly continued, his face blushing, “a long white dress like that isn’t quite the most comfortable outfit for facing the Titan.”
“Oh, really? And what do you know about the Archaean that I don’t?” Nyx made a grimace and opened his arms but couldn’t say anything. “What I’m going to do is a proper ceremony. You’re right, it may get a bit ‘dusty’, but at the same time you must realize that we are going to be in front of a deity. I’m sure they shall appreciate manners and elegance, the whole showing off.”
“Well, as far as I know, what deities do appreciate are their purest virgins naked and covered in blood… Which would actually be interesting to watch for me too, so let me know if we’re going to have that, okay?” He smirked, raising his eyebrows very high, trying to joke around and cheer her up a bit.
Lunafreya froze in the place. She just stood there, with no reaction, her face suddenly blank, staring back at him.
Nyx’s smile died pretty quick. “Oh, wait, that was …” He started to murmur. “Princess? That was a joke. I mean… a very lame joke. I’m so sorry for being an ass, I …” He wanted to put his hands on her shoulders, but he stepped back instead, trying to catch her gaze so to wake her up from her trance. In the meantime, he cursed himself for being so stupid. What the hell was he thinking? What kind of joke was that? The sexual allusion really had been highly immature and also 'unprofessional’ - and that was probably the reason why she reacted like that. “Princess?”
Luna moved a bit, putting a hand over her heart. “Don’t… apologize.”
“Yes, of course, I apologize. I am clearly not used to manners but I promise that I’ll shut up and–”
“Nyx.” Her voice was firmer this time. “Do not worry. Let us go.”
Nyx bit his tongue and nodded. Something was wrong, he thought as he watched her get on the car, something that laid deeper in her heart and that she wasn’t telling him. And that had nothing to do with his lame joke. She was keeping something away from him on purpose and whatever that thing was, it was consuming her.
They stopped the car in a safe place and they continued on feet. As they reached the front, hidden by darkness, they breathed a sigh of relief.
“My plan actually worked. There are just a couple of magitek soldiers guarding the Disc’s entrance” Nyx said, gently pushing the princess beyond his back so they wouldn’t have been noticed.
“But if you knocked them out, the security cameras will record it and others will come.”
Nyx studied the situation
with his military-trained eyes and answered:
“Not likely. It looks like the Empire came here recently and they surely didn’t have the time to adjust the cameras.” He then smiled. “But who really cares? We have to sneak in anyway, right?”
Luna nodded. “So what can I do?”
“You? With that pretty dress, nothing. Leave the dirty for me. You just have to save your breath for the ritual.”
Luna looked at him, with worry and gratitude in her eyes. “Please stay safe.”
He nodded, thanking her in his mind for not reminding him again that he was almost powerless without his magic.
Nyx stepped ahead with caution, staying in the darkness to avoid to alarm everyone. The first MT’s would have been easy to knock down even without his warp, but the other four would have been a challenge. But they were the only thing between them and the Titan, so he had to succeed.
He wielded the kukri, feeling underneath his fingers the familiar consistence of the weapon. He knew he could do it. He was trained for this. He wouldn’t have permit the Empire to hurt the Princess like they hurt Selena and his mother ages ago. This time he wouldn’t have been that powerless.
Nyx glanced at the Princess for one last time to find the last encouragement he needed and then the show started.
He took the first soldier by surprise, stabbing him in the neck with his kukri and then he acrobatically jumped back to shutdown another one too. Two done. Three magiteks to go.
This time he was totally exposed under the light, there was no way to take them by surprise again. The three MT’s approached him the same way they always did: they mechanically pointed at him their guns and tried to shoot. But they were just machines. They were slow and Nyx knew their moves because he fought them for years. He ran fast, confusing them with some quick moves they couldn’t catch nor anticipate. The third soldier was stabbed in the chest and the fourth fell under the punch of his left arm. Since just one was left, Nyx decide to use the kukri for a precise throwing. He didn’t fail. He stand there, watching the magitek soldier falling, realizing that even without his powers he still had some moves. He was actually surprised he did it all with such a velocity.
He took his kukri back and looked around. A giant door was closed in front of him but a switch positioned right on the left would have opened it. He quickly pushed it and like he expected the door opened. Everything was so silent. Even if with all the shadows he couldn’t see well, he thought it was safe enough to let the Princess coming out.
“Clear! Welcome to the Disc of Cauthess, Princess!” He screamed, but exactly when Lunafreya came out a Magitek soldier appeared on the top of the wall and start shooting. Luna immediately stepped back but Nyx lift his eyes to check the position of soldier. He was too far to throw the kukri, he had to take him from another angle.
“Princess, go!” Luna hesitated because she couldn’t see where the bullets were coming from but in the end she decided she had to take the risk. She lift the hem of her dress and started running towards the huge door. She stopped there, watching Nyx taking cover a bit further.
“What about you?” she screamed, hoping to be heard.
Nyx was barely listening. He was trying to find the dangerous magitek soldier in the darkness. “Well, I suppose I will manage it somehow. But you’ve got deities to wake up, right? What are you waiting for? Go!”
Luna hesitated once again, this time worrying about him and his safety. What if he got shoot again? What if leaving him behind meant losing him this time? But sadly enough, there was nothing she could do if not obeying him and entering in the Disc alone. Her magic was revejuvenation, not meant for offense and time was running out now. She couldn’t fail him. She swallowed hard and then started running.
The Disc of Cauthess was a huge mass of rocks which would have been beautiful in the morning light, but which was pure hell in the shadows of the night. Some fires where lit on the ground, like residues of lava, but except those it was only darkness.
Luna moved carefully, touching the rocky walls of the path with her fingers to provide leverage. Nyx was right about the dress: it really wasn’t comfortable to walk in the Disc and she thought about it with a smile.
“I have to move fast” she whispered, remembering that her friend was behind, to risk his life for her at the entrance. Every second could have been his last if she didn’t act quick.
She reached the peak where the tomb of a Lucian king - Noctis’ ancestor - lied and took a deep breath. That was the place. That was the moment.
But before she could start, she felt a presence behind her. She turned around to see beyond the shadows a familiar face appeared.
The woman stepped ahead, her eyes closed as always. She was holding the hands clasped in front of her but as she reached the Oracle she lift her palms in the air and a trident appeared, shining in the darkness with the light of thousands stars.
Luna awed in wonder, recognizing pretty quick the marvelous weapon. “But that is…”
“The Trident of the Oracle. The heirloom of your family that connects you between the two realms: that of mankind and heaven above.”
Luna regained her composure and quietly sighed. “Ravus didn’t allow to take it with me in Insomnia so I thought I left it in Tenabrae.”
“Your brother was the one who entrusted it to me. It was his gift, a sign of peace.”
Lunafreya felt her heart clutching and her tense expression changed in a pained one. “Ravus… wants me to have the trident?”
Gentiana opened her eyes, her emerald eyes gleamed fondness. “Lord Ravus deeply cares for your well-being as kin would. His lust for power would never obscure that.”
Luna couldn’t bear her gaze
and looked down at her own shaking hands.
“I don’t understand. He doesn’t want me to bond with anyone of the line of Lucis because he thinks that this will kill me in the end. Why does he send the trident to me now?”
“It’s a silent vow. For him to support you til the very end. No matter how sad your destiny will be, your gentle soul has touched the hearts of many beings, young Oracle. And your brother makes no difference.”
“Is Ravus… alive?”
Even if she didn’t show, Luna missed a lot the Ravus which used to be an actual brother to her. She was fond of memories of him in their native homeland, playing in the gardens of the palace or secretely reading together books in the library that their mother considered 'for adults only’. Before Noctis, Ravus was her best friend. And yes, she missed that because after the Empire came, everything changed.
“Being alive is a fleeting commodity for him as it is for you.”
“What I do is for the sake of the world. He must know that by now.” Luna said, this time more determined.
“Yes, you’re tied to the world’s fate and this places a heavy burden on your shoulders. The barter will cost you something that not only your brother would have spared.”
Luna took a minute to understand about who she was talking now. But when she did, she suddenly felt sad. “This is the reason why I must not tell anyone” she answered, her brow furrowing. “I will bear alone the heavyweight of my destiny.” She lengthened her hands, ready to welcome the glowing trident, which Gentiana gave her with a nod.
Luna stared at the weapon for a while, reflecting about how that weapon would have accompanied her to the end. It was strange the way she was attached to it anyway. Her foremothers, the previous Oracles including her late-mother have rested their faith into that weapon as they faced the darkness with unwavering resolve. She shall not fail them.
“Keeping it secret is a wise choice” Gentiana started again, whispering this time. “Not even the unwavering wolf can stop his moon from a eclipse.”
“Nyx is a man of honor.” Luna swallowed. “He will do what it takes for the destiny of the world, too. As must we all.”
Gentiana smiled, gently nodding and then disappeared.
Luna wielded the trident with a fierce satisfaction. With that she was finally able to use all her magic and that made her feel useful. With that she felt powerful. But with that came also a bizarre feeling of sadness and almost anguish, probably due to the conversation she just had with Gentiana, a deity who stood by her side for years as much as she considered her more like a friend than like an actual goddess. She couldn’t be wrong: if Gentiana said that Ravus would have tried to support her even if he didn’t agree with her decisions, she was surely right; and if she said that Nyx would have tried to stop her like her brother did in the past, she was surely right in that case too. Thinking about these two men made her lower the trident and hesitate. What she was about to do… was it really fine?
She thought of Noctis, too. Their destiny was more similar than she liked to admit. Maybe he would have tried to stop her, too, if he only knew what would have expect them. But then again, she couldn’t be stopped now because she chose this path and she did it for the greater good.
Yes. The greater good.
She couldn’t let doubt cloud this vision, not with the trident in her hands, not right in the Titan’s lair.
She decided to stop thinking, that was only hurting her. No turning back now.
“God of the mountain,” she started, raising her voice towards the huge mass of rocks in front of her. “I beseech you! Wake up from your slumber and listen to my call. The fate of mankind relies on your blessing!”
For a long minute there was only silence and then suddenly the trident started to glow like it was on fire. Lunafreya didn’t drop it, on the contrary, she raised it to the mountain and repeated the incantation: “God of the mountain, I beseech you! It is me, Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, Blood of the Oracle, and you will heed my call!”
A earthquake started to shake the floor, and its intensity grew stronger as what it looked like a mountain took a semi-human form. A inhuman scream came from it, something terrific and powerful too.
Luna watched the Titan appearing with fear in her heart but calmness on her face, certain that whatever it would have happen she had to show herself strong in order to succeed.
Titan roared once again and what he said was not understandable by anyone but Lunafreya.
“Yes, I need you to respond to my prayers, for you are a stepping stone in guaranteeing the True King his ascension.”
The earth trembled once more. The floor she was on started to fade underneath her feet. Rocks fell from Titan’s arms, she breathed the powder and smelled his heavyweight.
For two minutes it was pure chaos, yet she stood firm, feeling a thousand emotions within her.
And then, the silence.
Nyx limped in the darkness, touching the wall to stay on his feet in case that another earthquake came. After the destruction of Galahd and the fall of Insomnia, what he just lived was legitimately one of the worst experience he had ever have. The floor trembling under his feet - and the entire situation in general - gave him the awful feeling of being helpless like a child and he didn’t like it at all.
Even now for example, he couldn’t see where he was stepping, but he had to find the princess and escape, before the entire Imperial army found them.
He glanced into the shadows and just felt that the princess was somewhere near. He didn’t dare to call her though, amazed and also scared by the sight of the Titan from afar. It was incredible that such a powerful creature was summoned by a petite girl like Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. It was incredible and also, fascinating.
Her voice came out of the darkness so suddenly that he shivered.
“Princess?” He turned around but couldn’t see her. She had to be close though. “Where are you?”
“Here.” The gentle touch of her hand reached him right on the arm she already healed once. Nyx boggled and moaned softly. “You’re hurt.”
Her concern hit him a bull’s eye on a soft spot of his heart. “Nah, it’s just a scratch.”
“You said the same thing the last time as well,” Luna rebuked, “and we all know what the reality was.”
Nyx smirked. “You got me there. It’s also the same arm, maybe my destiny is to lose it.”
Luna sighed and even if he couldn’t see her face, he could see the delicate glow of her white magic spotting the wound and starting to heal it. “No!” he said, taking her by the hand to stop her. The glow disappeared and they were in the darkness again. “I’m fine, I don’t want you to heal me.”
“Nyx, you’re wounded again because of me. Healing you is the least i can do—”
“No, I understand now that healing takes a hell of a toll on you. Save that energy for yourself.”
Not seeing her permitted him to feel everything else better. He felt her cold skin, her hands being unsteady, her delicate presence, her breath on his shoulder.
“Tell me now about you. How did the covenant go? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she said, too quickly for him to believe it. He reached out to her cheek with his larger, calloused hand and gently caressed it.
“It looks like you’re lying, too. Let’s get out of here, Princess. Your job is done, right? Let’s find a place where you can rest.”
“The Titan will grant his blessing to Noctis, the alliance was successfully forged. So, yes, I think my job here is done.”
They distanced themselves a bit from one another, but didn’t let their hands go. It was a quiet neccessity, the physical closeness amid the darkness brought security. They turned back toward the entrance, but Luna halted for a second.
“What?” Nyx asked.
Luna raised an eyebrow, a amused exspression she usually didn’t dare to show in public. “The Archaean has a strange way in showing his favor. I guess that Noctis will suffer a bit of migraine in the next days.”