"The summoners are practitioners of a sacred art, sworn to protect the people of Yevon. Only a chosen few become summoners, who call forth entities of greater power: the aeons. The aeons hear our prayers and come down to us. They are the blessing of Yevon."
Chapter 1: Secrecy
She relaxed herself listening to the soothing sound of waves that washed in and out of shore.
Gently approaching the water, she closed her eyes and inhaled the sweet smell of freedom as each step went deeper into the water. She spread her arms out and let her thoughts drown as she completely submerged underwater with one swift movement. Her dress drifted along with her limp body, her porcelain skin looking paler than ever. She pondered about whether her choices were ever worth the troubles, if her dad was ever proud of her for doing so, and more importantly, if this is what she really wanted. So many thoughts have been clouding her mind lately, that all she wanted to do was hide. Hide from the world, even hide from herself; keeping her thoughts to herself only, and never showing her true emotions. All she wanted was an adventure, to break free of her conventions and run away from Besaid even for a day. Her cherry lips quirked up into smirks at the thought,
She heard a woman's muffled voice at a distance, snapping her out of her thoughts and into realization. Yuna's head popped out of the water with a wobble and out of breath; her dark chocolate hair glistened as water droplets distilled from the top of her head, framing her cheeks and jawline until they dripped off her skin.
"Must you always disappear from my sight?" The same ravishing woman who had called her name stood by the water with trepidation and her plump periwinkle lips showed her displease with a frown.
"My apologies..." Yuna expressed her remorse in a quiet manner as she limbered out of the water, "Was I in there for too long, Lulu?"
"Yes, now will you care to explain? You have taken quite a liking to this beach." Lulu made her question clear by taking a look at their surroundings. Soon after, Yuna did the same and with a look of confusion, she shrugged. Absentmindedly, she had been visiting this cloistered side of the isle, almost like a secret escape. There was a difference in the ambiance of this beach that made it incomparable to the other beaches of Besaid. It was, truthfully, alluring and fascinating, simply prettier.
After the long pause, Lulu let her lengthy dress shuffle as she decided to give up on questions and walk with Yuna back to the village. The metal buckles that hung at the front of her dress, and almost in front of her feet, jingled with each step. She gracefully took the lead, while Yuna hesitantly followed behind keeping her head down.
She played with her hands nervously as they entered the village with the sunset sky already hovering over the villagers. The colorful tents had dulled down after the sun hid behind the horizon, leaving the moon to shine its light upon the dead silence of the community. Everyone had already retreated to their hut for dinner, in that same monotone lifestyle Yuna had grown up in.
The diminutive village consisted of a little over seven huts, each shack filled with a tropical rainbow of colors, varying from an emerald green to a scarlet red. There were minuscule breaches within the fabric which let in spots of sun ray, and in the interior of the huts ranged in sizes of a room or two. There would usually be small chests with dust wrapping their round framework, knick-knacks spread over tall wardrobes, ancient books that were scattered throughout coffee tables, and a main kitchen stained with previous potion incidents and inattentive cooking mishaps.
Small homes meant small families and as a generation spurred in the next years, the spirits of the wise were left with a clean conscience to depart this world. Life on little Besaid was rewarding for a deep-rooted denizen of Spira, and as the Eternal Calm overpowered organizations with warfare motives people began to live ordinary, run-off-the-mill lives.
Sin's definite end gave Spirans a hope that not even the Yevonite religion could offer: the benefit of a worry-free life. Although Yuna's father was the price to pay for this glory, she lived content with the good his deed brought upon everyone. She was thankful, and would never question his decision. However, deep inside, she knew there was resentment towards the practice of summoning. The facts were too disturbing for her innocent and fragile mind to comprehend, still being in her late teens. She would sometimes dream about a life with her father and without summoners, too. She kept in mind that being a sender was the most she could do to follow her father's footsteps, even if it meant feeling the anguish of others she had never an affiliation to.
Soundlessly in thought an inaudible sigh escaped her delicate lips, as she sat on the front steps of the temple. She had a glum look on her face as she played with the emerald beads braided into her hair.
"Hey, what's the matter, Yuna?" An uneven voice came from a lofty man, with buff arms and a broad chest. His hair was the color of fire, with shades of red and yellow mixed from the roots to the tip which stood high above his head in an elevated Mohawk. His Besaidian accent was heavy, and his eyes were a light, yet unnoticeable blue.
"Huh? Oh, err, nothing's the matter..." Yuna stood up and patted her silky skirt, shaking away the dirt from the dusty stone footsteps.
"Oh, ha-ha, I see!" The bulky man put his arms on his hips with a chuckle, "You don't wanna tell me about it! It's alright, but take care of yourself, ya?"
"Yes, sir." She bowed her head with a smile, seeing Wakka's laid back mood made Yuna feel comfortable and made her cheeks flush. Although they weren't blood related, it was as if they were family. With each year that she grew older and became more of a woman, Wakka kept his attitude towards her the same. He treated her like a child, and cared for her like a daughter, even after her seventeenth birthday had passed.
"Heads up, ya? Lulu's been lookin' for you. She's complainin' about your day-dream moods and stuff, you should talk to her." Wakka gave her one last smile, before retreating back to his business around the village while nonchalantly waving "good-bye."
Yuna had always known about Wakka and Lulu's relationship, and she supported them wholeheartedly. Whichever step as a couple they took, she was right behind them. Particularly, when they decided to have a child of their own. Plus it wasn't long ago when they got married, probably a year or two ago. But this step had to be the biggest yet. The excitement Yuna felt for them, and the enjoyment of seeing them flourish as a family was even better.
Lulu was a sister, a mother, and a friend, so there was not a moment when Yuna was afraid to confide in her. Not until now. A new problem arose amidst the great news, and it kept playing itself in her mind.
They're building a family. And I need to give them space.
She could bite her nails nervously all day, just thinking about it. Thinking about where she would rather live. If she'd rather stay in Besaid or move to a place like Luca, maybe even her birth place and Capitol of Spira, Bevelle. There were many possible solutions, but moving away just seemed like the ticket! A journey to herself, she could finally put her training into action as a sender and someday make history like her father. All these were nothing but dreams at the moment.
The only thing that could be heard was the sound of villagers talking about the island's changing climate and other matters of contention Yuna had already known about for almost a year now. It was already noon and the sun was at its highest point above the ruins and tropical mountains of Besaid. Peeking through the fabric of the dome were rays of sunlight, they poked onto Yuna's white complexion as she laid on her bed and let into view the tiny particles in the air. She ran her hand through the beam of light, cutting through the floating cinder and giggling like a child. She was too engrossed in her own world, that she didn't notice Lulu intently examining her from across the room.
"Yuna?" She charmingly smiled at her with a pleased tone. Yuna was taken aback from the break of silence, slowly, she sat up with a chaste expression and kept her hands folded on her lap.
"It's already mid-day, I presume you're hungry. Would you like something?"
Yuna pursed her lips for a moment before giving her a minor nod with a polite smile.
"I suppose you would like me to cook your favorite," Lulu added, walking off into the kitchen. "I've noticed something has been troubling you..."
"Really, Lulu, I'm fine." Yuna's smile became forced, and a sudden hint of secrecy shadowed her actions.
"Is that true? There is just something about you lately I can't be cognizant of, it's almost foreign to me. Yuna, it scares me." Yuna could hear her shuffling through cabinets, as silver wear and pots jangled in the kitchen, then sighed trying to find the strength to tell her the truth- but she couldn't! There was no way she could let out such truths to her, not until she found a good explanation to clarify these mixed feelings she had. Whether it was staying for family, or leaving for self discovery.
"Lulu, I...I don't know..." She struggled to find her words, overwhelmed.
"I don't want to burden you for now with questions, but if you have an answer, don't hesitate to tell me." Lulu walked into the room again, one hand holding a wooden spoon.
She looked down at the girl in front of her, and realized something. She's not just a girl anymore. She was already seventeen! A respectable young woman, with responsibility and devotion to whatever she does, with a look of determination, and a look of tenderness. Yuna was ready to hear all of the truth.
Lulu's position shifted to discomfort, and she had noticed immediately. Looking up at her abruptly, her bi-colored eyes went wide at the sight of Lulu's afflicted aspect.
"Lulu, are you okay?" Yuna rushed to her aid, but in the end backed away by command.
"I'm fine." She sternly replied. "But, I have something very critical to discuss with you." She looked into her concerned eyes, not knowing what her counteraction will be once she learned the truth concealed all these years.
"What is it?" Yuna inquired in a low tone.
"...Your father-before his demise- omitted an ordinance through one of his guardians. It regarded your future," Yuna sharply gasped, but contained her utterance by placing a hand over her mouth. Her eyes stung when all emotions reached their peak, engulfing all rationality left in her.
"Yuna, I lied."
Yuna dissolved in tears-cold and bitter tears. Her sobs were enveloped by the fur on Lulu's dress when the guilt-ridden woman embraced her.
"Shh..." She tried to hush Yuna, stroking her soft hair. "It's all right. Just let me explain."
Lulu escorted the distressed young lady before her, whose eyes were bloated and cheeks were damp, to the edge of her bed. Languidly sitting down, they exchanged glances for a second, but Lulu's eyes directed themselves elsewhere.
"I know you sometimes feel abandoned and desolated, but your father never intended that. He planned for you to stay with us because he was afraid..."
Yuna's hand startled Lulu when it placed itself on her shoulder, her head shot up to look into pleading eyes.
"I must know."
Lulu nodded and continued."You know you are half Al Bhed," the statement was no question as Lulu spoke in almost a whisper, "that's why your eyes are so beautiful."
Yuna felt a certain comfort from her compliment since she always considered herself an outcast because of her eyes. A blue eye from her father, and a green from her Al Bhed mother. Al Bhed were known for using machina, a once forbidden practice in the Yevon religion everyone so willingly believed in. The arguments led to battled between the Al Bhed and the people of Spira; many died because of the differences. Witnessing the disputes, Yuna never sided with anyone for she liked being neutral.
"Your father knew how much hatred there was toward the race during the time of his pilgrimage, so he arranged for you to live in quiet island where no one could hurt you. However, after the death of your mother, a man by the name of Cid requested to take you in under his wing but he was too late. Your father had ended his pilgrimage and with the help of Sir Jecht and Sir Auron, brought upon the Eternal Calm.
"The only man who knew your location was the great Sir Auron, and he was the one who passed the message to me that your father had died. Not only did he inform me of his death, but he also mentioned Cid."
Yuna listened intently as Lulu continued the tale of a family she was never aware of. Cid was her mother's brother, the leader of the Al Bheds. He is a loud, hasty, amusing man who cared for his son and daughter with deep love, though he didn't show it often. Yuna's eyebrows raised with furor after hearing of a family she was never aware of. Lulu gave out facts on her two cousins, Rikku and Brother. She gave her a little background on her mother, too. A woman whose name she never knew but was told that had beautiful blond hair that reached her shoulders, a pair of meddlesome olive-colored eyes.
"So," Yuna's gentle voice came out, "my father was afraid of me getting hurt?"
"Yes. He wanted you to live an accommodated life and getting involved with the Al Bhed seemed, all in all, troubling."
"At least I know the truth now." Yuna smiled to herself for a moment, overjoyed on the inside. She wanted to meet them, her Al Bhed side.
"I'm glad you don't hold a grudge." Lulu smiled at her wholeheartedly, reassuring Yuna that her dreams could come true after all. There was no need to escape, to cheat, or lie out of it. She could tell Lulu anything, even if it implies her leaving.
Kinda short for a first chapter, but I'll make sure to make it longer next chapter :D Like I said, I'm still young, so my writing skills are okay. Not that I'm not creative, I might have a hard time writing or something! Please review! 3