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Chapter 20a: Lord of the Inferno – Part I

Narration: Summoned by the Sharlayan Archon Louisiox, the Heroes of Eorzea found themselves on a quest to quest to recover six echo crystals. Powerful crystals that along with an inferno flambeau, would grant them the power necessary to enter the realm of the gods and face the Primal known as Ifrit.

Along the way, Silvermane, Caireann, Zephon, and Milyah each received powerful crystals from unknown sources. Powered by their will to protect those around them and their will to prevail, these crystals increased their abilities granting power that they never even imagined.

And now, they stand face to face with the Sharlayan Archon, ready to face the God of Flames himself.

Louisiox: Behold, the fate of they who went before you.
Not a single mortal who has bared steel with Ifrit, has come out the victor.
Let this be a grave reminder of the arduousness of your task.

Sangi: Party pooper alert!

Neya: Sangi!!

Onias: No, he is right.
In all my years, I never thought that I would be standing here, preparing to face a Primal. And yet, here we are.

Zeriah: Evo, perhaps it’s best if this time the younglings stayed out of this fight.

Nuvea: Aw, auntie Zee!?

Narration: Cries Nuvea, hoping to have a real fight. Milyah agrees with Zeriah and places her hands on Nuvea’s arms.

Milyah: No, Zeriah is right.
Nuvea, you are no longer the host of Ultima and I no longer posses the power of the crystal. To take you and the others will be far too dangerous.

Narration: Nuvea pouts, hoping to have the chance to see a primal up close, only to be let down. Miyah kisses her forehead before rejoining Evo and the others.

Louisiox: Art thou ready?

Evogolist: I believe so.

Louisiox: Then attend Evogolist. Though all things happen for a reason, it falls to each individual to find meaning in that which comes to pass.

In this case, hubris is as much your enemy as the foe who stands before you. Anything less than complete focus upon the task at hand, and you will be made to pay the same price as these poor fools.

Wedge: Gulp!

Biggs: I think we’ll sit this one out.

Louisiox: If you understand this and still wish to proceed, then hand me the Inferno Flambeau.

Narration: Evo hands Louisiox the flambeau. When placed in Louisiox’s hands, the flambeau begins to burn bright. Everyone looks on, their hearts beating damn near through their chests.

Louisiox: Now step through the gate friends. Beckoned by the flame of the inferno flambeau, the primal Ifrit shall descend.

However, be fore warned. The gate will only sustain four of you.

Narration: Disappointed, the group of adventurers sigh in discuss.

Caireann: Well that sucks.

Zephon: Yeah, after all of that hard work.

Onias: Well looks like we’ll be drawing straws to see who all go.

Evogolist: No need.

Zeriah: Huh?

Narration: His mind made up and unwilling to risk the lives of his family and friends any longer, Evogolist chooses to enter Ifrit’s realm alone.

Evogolist: I’ll go…alone.

Onias: Son have you lost your mind!?

Evogolist: No, I can’t ask you all to risk your lives any more. Back in my world, I’ve faced the likes of demons, gods, demi-gods, and more. I’ve watched others sacrifice their lives so that the rest of the world could go on living, while no one even knew or cared who it was that died.

I…I’ve watched as the people I’ve loved have had to live in pain as those closest to them gave up their lives selflessly.

Milyah…

…Silver…

…Caire…

…Zeph…

…even my father and Zeriah…

….you each sacrificed so much for the future of the realm.

I can’t and I won’t ask you to do that here. I thank you for your help, but I must do this alone.

Narration: Angered by Evo’s selfish words, Silver storms over to the young Hyur and punches him as hard asshe could, knocking him straight to the ground. Evo looks up at Silver, shocked that she would do such a thing.

Evogolist: Sil…Silver!?

SIlvermane: You overzealous, selfish son of a bitch!
How dare you make such a decision on your own!

You don’t know the first thing about me!

And apparently, nor do you know anything about the rest of us.
If we choose to die for this lousy down rotten realm, then that’s our damn bloody choice, not yours.

Onias: The kitten is right son.
It should be our decision whether we live or die.

Evogolist: But…what if you die?

Zeriah: And what about you?
Do you think we could go on if you were to perish alone?

And what of Nuvea and Milyah? Do they go on without you?

Caireann: Hun, I don’t know what happened to the Zeph and Caire of your world, but we’re not just going to sit by and let our best friend face this alone.

Narration: Evo looks on, ashamed that he would even suggest going without his friends. And then his heart breaks as Nuvea walks over to him and hugs him.

Evogolist: Nuv…Nuvea?

Nuvea: Dad, please don’t do this. we need you.
I…I need you.

Narration: Evogolist pulls Nuvea close and they both begin to cry in each other’s arms. After a few minutes, Evo then stands while holding Nuvea’s hand and speaks to the others.

Evogolist: I’m sorry everyone.
It was selfish of me to make your decisions for you. So I’ll ask you, who will stand with me to face this threat to our world?

Narration: They each stand and step forward, even Biggs and Wedge. Evo is overwhelmed with emotion. To know that he has such friends brings such tears of joy to his eyes.

Louisiox: It is evident that your friends have come to their resolve. Each one willing to throw their lives on the line for you, their friend. You must make a decision on who you feel will best suit your needs.

Narration: Evogolist looks around and thinks to himself. He wonders who would best be suited to take on the God of Flames. He looks towards Zeph and SIlver. Zeph is strong and built. While he can take a bit of damage, Evo knows too well that should he bring Caire along as well, Zeph would possibly priotize Caire over anything else should anything happen and Caire the same. Also, Zeph lacked the gear to handle a Primal. He then looks over at Silver.

Though smaller than Zeph, Silver has proven her will to succeed in battle. Her ability to hold and wield her giant axe also proves her strength. Silver’s weakness however, is her inability to stay sober during the fight, not to mention her constant whining and nagging.

Evo thinks it over and then makes his first decision.

Evogolist: Zephon Malarith, I choose you to be our brick wall. I place my life, as well as the life of our fellow comrades in your hands, will you join me?

Narration: Looks at his wife Caire, and then looks towards Evo.

Zephon: You have my word buddy. I won’t let you down.

Narration: Evo next looks towards the remaining members. Each one, capable and skilled fighters. While his father is the most skilled fighter, Onias’ age and inability to maneuver during the fight would put a hinder on their battle. Caireann, while a skilled hand to hand fighter, would have to be able to get in close to Ifrit to do damage. This would mean putting herself more in harms way. Not to mention that he promised to get both Caire and Zeph home to their children alive and well, so he couldn’t bare it anything happened to Caire due to Ifrit’s flames.

Evo then looks over at Zeriah and Milyah. Both stout archers of the God’s Quiver. Zeriah, his sister, was a strong and stern archer. She commanded her subordinates well during both the Lucavie’s attack on Gridania as well as her latest venture with Milyah. She also at the same time raised Nuvea during his and Milyah’s absence.

Milyah on the other hand, though also a stern and strong archer, her mind wavered too much. Recently struggling to stay focused during battle, while hiding her pain. Her confidence in being a mother also wavered and so he wondered if she would be capable of focusing during the fight with Ifrit.

Again Evo thinks to himself before making his next decision.

Evogolist: I’ve decided.
Zeriah, will you be our support in battle against this foe?

Zeriah: Sigh, If it means making sure you get home safely so that I can give you another scolding, then count me in.

Narration: Evo looks over at Milyah and happens to notice the disappointment on her face. He knows how much she wanted to join him, but feels as though she’d be better suited on standby. At first he steps forward to attempt to comfort her, but then takes a step back. He then looks around as he prepares to make his last choice.

All there was left now was someone with healing capabilities. Evo looks over at Neya, and while Neya has proven herself during both the latest raid as well as the events that took place when Nuvea was possesed by Ultima, Neya was still a youngling and too inexperienced to take on Ifrit.

Evo then drew a blank look on his face.

Caireann: Evo hun, what’s wrong?

Evogolist: We’re just missing a one more person.

Caireann: What do you need? You know we’re all willing to stand with you.

Evogolist: I need someone that can keep us alive, a healer of sorts.

Caireann: Oh.

Narration: Says Caire as she looks around unsure of how to help Evo.

Just then, someone yells in a loud pitched voice. The next Evo knew, he was being jumped by an over-excited Miqo’te.

Starsabre: Evo!!

Evogolist: Huh?
Star!?

Starsabre: Heya Evo!

Evogolist: Star!!
Where have you been?

Starsabre: Oooh, around.

Evogolist: Uh, well…okay.
Well you’re just time because we could sure use you.

Starsabre: Huh?
Use me how?

Evogolist: We’re facing a Primal and we’re in need of your awesome conjury skills.

Starsabre: Aw shucks, you sure do know how to make a girl blush.
Sure, I’ll help ya.

Narration: Everyone cheers as the realms newest defenders were set and ready to take on Ifrit, the Lord of the Inferno. Before leaving, everyone says their goodbyes. Evo and Zeriah both hug and kiss Nuvea promising that they’ll return for her. They then turn their attention towards Onias. If there ever was a prouder father, Onias was he.

He stood there, one hand on his sword handle and the other placed on Evo’s shoulder.

Onias: You two take care and look out for one another.
I’m proud of the both of you.

Narration: Both Evo and Zeriah then hug their father and prepare to enter the gate. But before Evo could leave, he couldn’t help but feel Milyah’s piercing eyes on him. He looked over at her and could see that she was upset. And instead of ignoring her anymore, he made his way over to her.

Evogolist: You know, if I could I would have brought you with me.

Milyah: You make it sound like I care.

Evogolist: Mily look, don’t do this, please?

Milyah: No, it’s fine.
I completely understand.
You don’t trust me to keep it together and why should you?

Evogolist: I do trust you, it’s just that you’re trying too hard right now.
Ever since Kilyah died, you’ve been going and going, never stopping. So this time I want you to take it easy this time. gather yourself and your thoughts and we’ll talk some more when I get back.

Narration: Milyah says nothing, she just simply holds her head down. Evo lifts her head slightly and kisses her lips before saying goodbye. And as Evo walks towards the rest of the party, Mily lets a few tears roll down her face.

Zeriah: Everything okay?

Evogolist: Yeah.

Zephon: Then let’s get this show on the road!

Starsabre: Yeah!!

Narration: The group then passes through the gate and they make their way into Ifrit’s realm. Whether or not they’ll succeed is unknown, but what is known is that their bonds are stronger than ever and their resolve is solidified.