Chapter 18d: Coming To Terms

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Narration: Deep in the North western region of the Black Shroud, a barely conscious Milyah Crystari and Zeriah Lunaire awaken after being swept up stream. The had just not long ago finish fleeing from a group of Ixal of whom had taken up camp right outside of the Hrystmill Hamlet.

The two archers awoke, finding themselves drenched in water. But that was the least of their worries.

Milyah: Ugh…my head.

Zeriah: Ew…yuk…I’m soaked.

Milyah: Hey, it could’ve been worse.

Zeriah: I swear, you and my brother are two of a kind. Always out for the adventure, but never thinking about the consequences.

Milyah: Give it a rest Zeriah.

Zeriah: No, I will not give it a rest!
We could’ve been caught back there or worse, killed.
I’ve had to raise Nuvea. your daughter for the last fifteen years while you roaming the Twelveswood like a brain-dead zombie and while my brother…her father,was off playing captain to a band of pirates.

It’s high time that you and Evo stop with these crazy wild goose chases. For god sakes, your daughter needs you. Stop acting like your still kids and being adults already.

Be her parents, because that’s what she needs, her mom and dad. Not her auntie Zee.

Narration: Milyah is shocked to hear Zeriah scold her. Though as may Zeriah’s words may be truthful, to Milyah, they were out of line and Milyah was not about to accept them. Milyah balled her fists and then out of pure anger, unballed one hand and slapped Zeriah right across the cheek.

Milyah: How dare you?
How dare you speak on what you don’t know.
Where you there? Did you watch as I laid there in tears with my husband and our daughter as I felt my life slipping away from me? Where you there to feel the agony and heartbreak that I felt, knowing that I may never see them again?

No you weren’t!
So don’t you ever in your life tell me how to take care of my daughter!

Zeriah: Really?

Milyah: Yes, really.

Zeriah: Hmph!

Milyah: Hmph!

Narration: After a heated argument, the two female archers turn their backs to one another, neither wanting to speak to the other. As they open their eyes to peak, they suddenly find themselves surrounded by everything from Gnoles to Malboros.

Milyah: And things just got worse.

Zeriah: Uh huh.

Narration: The two archers time their movements. They both know that one wrong move or if they’re too slow, it could cost them their lives. Milyah looks for an opening. If she could just get to her bow, she could easy take out a few of the Gnoles blocking their escape. It would just so happen to be her luck that a Malboro was slithering over top of her bow.

Milyah thinks to herself for a moment. If she or Zeriah can distract the Malboro long enough, then just maybe one of them could reach the bow. Milyah elbows Zeriah, attempting to notify Zeriah of her plan.

Milyah: Zeriah…

Zeriah: What?

Milyah: Over there, look.

Zeriah: Are you crazy?
There’s no way one of us would be able to grab that and move before the Malboro can grab us.

Milyah: That’s why I need you to distract him.

Narration: Zeriah begins to laugh hysterically at Milyah’s idea. She couldn’t believe what Milyah was asking her to do.

Zeriah: DId I hear you right?
You want me to do what?

Milyah: Just trust me okay.

Zeriah: You honestly despise me right now and this is your way of getting revenge for the things I said, isn’t it?

Milyah: Look, we can stand here until they decide to eat us, arguing over our personal issues or you can distract that damn thing so I can clear us a path!

Zeriah: And just how do you suppose I distract that thing?

Milyah: You practiced conjury right?

Narration: Concerned with the dangers of Milyah’s plan, Zeriah is skeptical that the plan will work. She thinks on Milyah’s plan for a moment, however time is of the essence as the local wildlife begin to move in on them.

Milyah: Anytime oh dear sister-in-law!

Zeriah: Grr…

Narration: Zeriah conjures up a bit of wind energy and when it’s ready, she sends hurling towards the Malboro. The blast of wind grabs the Malboro’s attention and it slides and slithers it way towards Zeriah.

Zeriah: I hope this plan of your’s works.

Milyah: Same here, otherwise it was nice knowing you.

Zeriah: Ooooh, I’m so haunting her if I die. Chains rattling and all.
Hey! You…Big slimy tentatcle guy!
Over here!

Narration: The Malboro slowly makes it way towards Zeriah. As Zeriah lures the monster’s attention, Milyah stands there. At first, she watches Zeriah. A bit of guilt comes over her as the thought of her sister in law being killed comes to mind. Milyah then finds herself trying to snap back to reality.

Milyah: Come on Mily…
Move Mily…Move.
Move Damn it!

Narration: Shouts Milyah as she begins to run and leap for the bow. Zeriah, whose back was now up against the tree, yells for Milyah.

Zeriah: Uh…Milyah.
Anytime now!

Narration: Milyah fumbles to get out an arrow and place it on the bow. When ready, she aims her bow and arrow towards the Malboro. She then closes her eyes and let’s the arrow fly towards its target.

Milyah: Kilyah, my darling brother, guide my arrow so that it may strike true.

Narration: The arrow strikes it target, but all it does it upset the Malboro even more. The Malboro turns around, allowing one of its tentacles to hit Zeriah, knocking her down. It then begins to make its way over to Milyah.

Milyah: ZERIAH!

Narration: Shouts Milyah as she watches Zeriah go down. She then prepares herself to fend off the Malboro. It was just her luck, because the Gnoles were preparing to strike as well. The Gnoles slowly crept up on Milyah, before fully running in to attack. And just as the three Gnoles leapt in for Milyah, The Malboro interfered.

Milyah opened her eyes and to her shock, the Malboro and the Gnoles were going at it. Both vying for whose dinner Milyah would be. While the wildlife was distracted fighting over dinner, Milyah quietly made her over to Zeriah to check on her.

Milyah: Zeriah, are you alright?

Narration: Zeriah, feeling slightly woozy, shakes off her injury and with Milyah’s help, the two make their way back through the Twelveswood. Along the way, Zeriah, barely able to walk, pushes Milyah away from her.

Milyah: Zeriah…

Narration: Shouts Milyah as she calls out Zeriah.

Zeriah: Don’t touch me.

Milyah: But you’re hurt.

Zeriah: No thanks to you.
<sigh> I’ll be fine. Let’s just go.

Narration: Milyah stands there and watches Zeriah as she limps away. Milyah can’t help, but feel bad for the way things turned out. She thought to herself that maybe Zeriah was right. Maybe it is time to leave the adventure behind. But what else could she have done?

They continue their way through the Twelveswood, that is until Zeriah almost collapses from her injury.

Milyah: Zeriah, wait…let me help you.

Narration: Zeriah pushes Milyah away, refusing her help.

Zeriah: I said don’t touch me!

Milyah: What is your problem?! Is it because of what happened?
Oh, I think I know what it is. I think that you’re upset that Lewin reinstated me as Bow Lady, making you second only to me.

Narration: Zeriah, in disbelief, stands and looks at Milyah. She first laughs off Milyah obnoxious accusation and then once again takes to scolding Milyah.

Zeriah: You’re funny, you know that.
You still don’t get it, do you?!
I don’t give a damn about this title.
For fourteen years…FOURTEEN YEARS, my brother was lost and heartbroken, because he thought that you, the love of his life…his soulmate, was dead.

Now you’re back and here you are just throwing your life away.
You told me not to speak on what I don’t know. Well let me tell you what I do know. There are two people back home that love you very much and were hurt to their very soul when you were over-taken by your woodsin. Your husband is off doing god knows what and your daughter is still hurting and healing from losing her two best friends.

While I’ve yet to have children of my own, I love Nuvea like she is my own. But truth be told, she is not my daughter.

You’re her mother and she needs you…right now.

Narration: Instead of getting upset, Milyah thinks heavy on Zeriah’s words. She then turns to Zeriah and addresses her.

Milyah: You’re right.

Zeriah: Huh?

Milyah: I thought that I could fix everything and give her a normal life back by taking away her memories, but the truth is, I’ve been running. Ever since Kilyah and I visited the Sylphs, I’ve been running.

Did you know that it was my fault that she had that primal in her? Kilyah and I are…were the crystal twins. Beings born from Hydalyn herself. Over a hundred years ago, along with adventurers like you and Evo, we battled the Lucavi and defeated them. There was but, one problem. Ultima, being an Elder Primal, could not be destroyed and thus had to be contained. I took in to myself Ultima and she stayed there until Nuvea was born. That is why the Ixal were after her back then. Like me, not only was she a child of the crystal, she was also a host to a Elder Primal. So when I was overtaken by my woodsin, I knew that I’d never be able to protect her like a real mother should.

I’m weak.

I couldn’t protect her then, nor could I protect her now. I…I…was…too weak…too weak to even protect…my brother.

Kilyah’s dead Zeriah and I watched the Garleans skewer him to death. So how can I protect my own daughter?!

Narration: As Milyah bursts into tears, finally revealing her true pain, Zeriah limps over to her and comforts her. Milyah wraps her arms around Zeriah and buries her head into Zeriah’s shoulder as she cries her heart out.

Zeriah: You’re not weak. You just haven’t allowed yourself to see your true strength yet.

Milyah: My…true…strength?

Zeriah: Yeah, us…your family.

Milyah: My…family…

Narration: As Milyah continues to cry and Zeriah comforts her, the family linkshell finally goes off.

Evogolist: Milyah…Zeriah, are you there?
Do you read me? Milyah…Zeriah…?!

Zeriah: Leave it to my brother to ruin a good moment.

Milyah: Yeah.

Narration: Says Zeriah, sarcastically as she helps wipe Milyah’s tears from her face. They both then touch on their respective link pearls and respond to Evo’s calls.

Zeriah: Evo, where have you been?!

Evogolist: Give me a break will ya. Nuvea and I have been trying to contact the two of you for the last two hours. Where are you?

Zeriah: We’re somewhere near Emerald Moss I believe.

Evogolist: Can you teleport back to town? We have a slight emergency.

Zeriah: No, we were attacked and all of our stuff were lost in the process.

Evogolist: Attacked?!
Are the two of you alright?!
Where’s Mily?

Milyah: I’m here my love.

Evogolist: Thank goodness.
Stay there, I’m on my way to get the two of you.

Narration: As Evo prepares to come and retrieve the two of them, Milyah and Zeriah talk once more.

Zeriah: So, are you ready to face them?

Milyah: I think so.
I’m just scared.

Zeriah: Don’t be. I’ll be there, the whole step of the way.

Narration: Says Zeriah as she grabs a hold of Milyah’s hand. When Evo finally arrives, he doesn’t waste a moment and runs over to Milyah, grabbing her and pulling her close to him.

Evogolist: I missed you.

Narration: Milyah says not a word. She simply lays her head on his chest with a tear running down her face. Zeriah grabs both of their hands and the three head back to Gridania.

Back in Gridania, at the Apkallu Falls, Milyah runs over to Nuvea and hugs her as tight as possible.

Nuvea: M…Mom…I…I can’t…breathe.

Narration: Once again, Milyah says not a word. Louisoix, not wanting to waste any more time, speaks to the adventurers. He briefs them on the threat of the primals and how their very presence is draining the aether from the planet. He then tasks them with finding six items as well as an additional item that will allow them to travel through the aether and enter Ifrit’s realm where he can be defeated.

As Evo, Milyah, Zeriah, Caire, Zeph, Nuvea, Neya, and Sangi all set off to find the six items, Louisoix looks on with hope that he’s found who and what he was looking for.

Louisoix: Good Luck Heroes of Eorzea…

…My Warriors of Light.

loui

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