Author's Notes

Hello, my dear readers! I thought I'd begin the chapter with a dream sequence as an allusion of sorts regarding things to come in this fanfic. I read the reviews and realized that I needed this chapter out right away to be clear with the direction this work was going.

DarkBlight, Artyom-Dreizhen, Kryvsun, Mangahero18: My apologies if it looked that way, but I wanted to lay down the setting and the foundation of the story first before splitting from the canon.

Rogue Plyon: One thing I read about the Gandalfr runes during my research was that it granted the branded person the mastery of the scientific applications of technology, mostly related to weapons, so I'm not necessary limiting myself to his Royal Arms. Something along the lines of Magitek weaponry and practical applications of his power to conjure his Royal Arms at will, but we'll see.

KaiserUltima: Same as above, and yes, his Armiger Arsenal will make its appearance in a future chapter.

I'm not gonna keep you guys any longer. Enjoy!

EDIT (9/6): Some lore checks and revisions, again. Rune placement on right hand was wrong. Corrected to left hand.

DISCLAIMER:

I do not own Final Fantasy XV nor Familiar of Zero.

Final Fantasy XV is owned by Square-Enix.

The Familiar of Zero is the property of Noboru Yamaguchi. (†)


CHAPTER III: Otherworldly Royalty

Noctis opened his eyes, and he was greeted with the sight of an endless field of blue flowers that seemed to stretch out for miles around, with floating islands covered in lush green adorning the horizon. The sun was high up, the blue sky was clear, and the vast sea of dark blue served to contrast the sky above. Bells of nostalgia rang and homesickness welled deep in his mind. At a loss of words, he almost seemed ready to cry.

"Sylleblossoms…? Is this… Tenebrae?"

As if a tear was about to fall out at the corner of his eye, he spotted a blotch of white not too far off. Focusing his gaze on the discontinuity among the blue, it was a woman wearing an elegant white dress, with long blonde hair gracefully flowing along with the wind. The woman was looking far out in the horizon, at the direction of a place Noctis knew too well: home.

More importantly, he immediately recognized who the woman was, and without skipping a heartbeat, began to run towards her. Just as soon as he made his first couple of steps, the blue sky turned green, and shone so bright at it overwhelmed Noctis's eyes. In an attempt to reach out to the woman with his voice, nothing would come out of his lips, and his consciousness had drifted away…

…and thus the King's fleeting dream came to an end.


Noctis opened his eyes, and he woke up to a dimly lit room, illuminated by a single candle at a table in the middle of the room. A single tear dropped from the side of his eye, realizing that it was all a dream that had passed so quickly. Having regained rest, he was able to move his body more than before, but the details of what happened to him back then still eluded him. Before getting up, he appraised his surroundings, searching for anything that is notable. For starters, he still donned his royal suit. Dirtied, but still in good shape. He also took notice of the bed of hay he was lying in at that moment. However, before he began to search the room in earnest, a pinkette began talking to him which he did not notice until now. She spoke in a tongue that he did not genuinely recognize from the several that he already knew of from his studies in his childhood.

"Well, you're finally awake! I suppose the headache you gave me during the ritual was but a small bother from what's to come, since I have no other choice but to take you as my Familiar, lest my sisters think any more less of me." the pinkette said.

Louise looked down upon Noctis with demeaning eyes, like someone who was unsure of where to toss their filthy garbage. "You were grumbling so much in your sleep, it was driving me nuts! And the fact that I cannot understand you only adds more trouble." she said.

Noctis stood up and patted his garments to clear them of hay. With Louise's words still incoherent, he tried again to ask Louise whether she understood him or not, which was only met with incoherent ramblings.

"Gaaaaahhhh, this is so frustrating! If we cannot have any meaningful conversation, I might as well shut you up." Louise angrily said while she grabbed her wand. "What was that Silence spell they taught last year…? Ah! Ansul. Bel. An. Cast your voice unto silence by my command."

The moment Louise finished her spell, a small explosion went off of the middle of her room, filling it with smoke. She and Noctis got knocked back by the force of the blast, but with the smoke covering everything, Noctis wasted no time in making his way out of the room, for his own sake. As the smoke cleared, Louise tried to make sense of another one of her failures. Brushing aside that, she searched around the room looking for her Familiar, only to find the door of her room slightly open.

"Eh…? Where'd my Familiar go…? Did it just run away? Are you kidding me?"

Making his way down through the dimly-lit corridor of rooms and down some spiral stairs, Noctis began his preliminary assessment of his situation. The first thing he wanted to be sure of was the level of technology of whatever place he's in at the moment.

"Infrastructure of wood and stone… not a single thing so far that would be comparable to Insomnian technology, hell, not even the outer cities like Lestallum and the outskirts… am I in some far-flung nation in a remote corner of Eos?" he mumbled to himself.

As he descended to another floor of whatever place he was in right now, he heard voices from the corridor, and quickly hid behind cover to identify the people engaged in conversation.

"Tch, more of them already? Even with the darkness outside, I guess it can't be helped that there are those kind of people. And their clothes… similar to school uniforms of some sort minus the cloak, I guess." Noctis said under his breath.

The people in question were Guiche, who was talking to a girl who was a bit shorter than him, and she was evidently lovestruck with the blonde and his poetic words of praise for her. Noctis cringed a bit with the somewhat overly displays of affection the two were showing, although when he heard some of Guiche's apt choice of words, he can't help but wonder something was off. Teens and affection notwithstanding, he got his mind back to his goal of leaving the place.

For the first time in a long while, Noctis turned to his Royal Arms to allow him a quick escape through the hallway. Something small and light that would not make a noise when thrown across the air.

"All right," Noctis whispered. "[Sword of the Wise]."

The first of his many Royal Arms, the first to save him from this dreaded situation in an unfamiliar land. It was only fitting, he thought. Concentrating on the image of the sword, he drew upon it in front of him from thin air with his right hand, sliding his left across the length of the blade, before disappearing into the very same air it came from. From his cover, he peered just slightly out onto the far end of the corridor, looking for a point to warp through.

"Okay, let's see… ah, that's a good warp point." he thought.

With Guiche and Katie still locked in conversation, he quickly jumped from cover, conjured and threw his sword at the direction of the stairs going down at the opposite end of the corridor. The blonde quickly flinched, bracing for what will hit him, but the blade disappeared just as it passed by the two, and Noctis disappeared with a blue sheen before Guiche even had a chance to see the figure that came out.

Both Noctis and blade in hand rematerialized near the steps and he rolled forward, pausing for a bit to regain his footing. Making a swift glance at Guiche's direction, he then made his way down the stairs without making too much noise. Meanwhile, the startled pair were still trying to register what happened.

"D-Did you see that?! Someone threw something at me and it just… disappeared." Guiche said.

"Weird… I saw something moving too, but I never made out what it was." Katie followed.

Louise came down the higher stairs not long after, and saw a flabbergasted Guiche and Katie staring at her direction.

"Hey, Guiche! Did you see my Familiar anywhere?!" Louise shouted.

"Ah, if it isn't Louise the Zero! Did the Familiar run away from her inept master? How tragic of a tale, ahaha—" Guiche replied before being cut off.

"Not now! Help me out here, he can't be far off." Louise shouted back with a pout on her face.

"Fine, fine. Lead the way, Louise." Guiche replied.

Having made his way down to the ground floor, Noctis once again hid behind cover to survey the big circular room. At the middle was a fountain with two people sitting beside it. One was a redhead with a voluptuous figure, and a well-built man beside her. He could hear bits of flirtatious words between them, somehow even more risqué than the pair before them, and he felt a bit of pain in his broken heart, reminded of things that he would not be able to experience. In hindsight, he was well aware of the sacrifices he and all those dear to him have paid to bring about the peace.

"These kids sure have it easy…" Noctis said as he sighed.

Noctis spotted the exit at the far end of the room, with the two in the way. Running out of options to consider, he planned to warp-strike at the top of the fountain and quickly execute another near the exit. With his Royal Arm still at the ready, he slowly exited from his cover and assumed a throwing stance. Ascertaining his aim, he threw the blade at the top of the fountain, and both Noctis and the blade disappeared and reconjured at the target, with the blade in hand and him balancing at the top of the fountain. Kirche caught notice of the sound Noctis made at where he was and looked at that direction, and were now unaware that he was on top of them.

"Did you hear that?" Kirche said.

"The only thing I'm hearing right now is your beautiful voice echoing this room, mhmhmhm…" the man replied.

With both of them preoccupied, Noctis threw his blade at the direction of the exit, warped there and slowly made his way out. Not long after, Louise, Guiche, and Katie made their way down to the fountain, the same expression of frustration in the pinkette's face. Spotting Kirche, she had the same query as she did with Guiche.

"Hey, Kirche! Did you see my Familiar anywhere, or pass by here?!" Louise shouted.

"My, my, your Familiar running away from you? You are certainly a troublesome lot, Louise." Kirche said as she giggled. "Come to think of it, that noise from earlier may have been the one you were looking for. If he was trying to get out, he can't be too far off."

"Help me out too! I've already had my fair share of troubles today, and I hope this will be the last." Louise said.

"Very well then Louise, my darling and I will follow you out to the school grounds. Shall we?" Kirche beckoned.

"Wait 'till everyone hears about this tomorrow! Ahahaha!" Guiche joyously said.

Louise grumbled faintly as she ran off towards the exit with the rest of the group.


[Outside the school grounds]

As Noctis stepped out of the building he was in and walked a few dozen from the door, he got a glimpse of the evening sky of the place he got himself into. Countless stars dotted the sky, each one giving off a bright glow, the view untarnished by skyglow that plagued the busy nights of Insomnia as he remembered it. However, a rather distinct feature of the night sky caught his full attention.

"The Moon…? Wait— two? Impossible…" Noctis said in shock.

In plain view were two enormous moons of different sizes high above the Halkeginian night sky, the smaller one exuding a light crimson glow and the larger one beside it with a blue hue. Both their glow reflected on Noctis's battle-worn, weary eyes. He was now finally convinced that he had been sent to another world… or summoned, as a certain pinkette would say it. Looking at the moons only served to remind him of the one he held most dear.

"Luna… if only you're here to see it now…" he thought.

As Noctis continued to gaze at the twin moons, Louise and her group exited the fountain room and found the man in black locked eyes with the twin moons in the sky, his back facing them. As they made their steps down, Louise already began thinking of the words she has to say to her errant Familiar.

"You! Not only do I get a plebeian as a Familiar, you also ran away from my room! Why do I get the worst luck of all? This is so frustrating, my sisters will definitely have some words with me once they find out about this." Louise shouted to Noctis.

Noctis's ears perked, as if he understood the words of irritation clearly. Not long after, he slowly turned around and faced the group and his weary gaze met Louise's eyes fraught with exasperation. Calmly, he spoke to Louise using words she can finally comprehend.

"… Might you be responsible for bringing me here to this foreign world?" Noctis asked Louise.

"W-What…?! I can understand you?!" Louise asked back in shock. She thought back to the Silence spell she casted before, and knowing that her failure actually allowed him to be understandable left her with mixed feelings inside. Nevertheless, this opportunity would mean that she would at least be able to at least know something about her Familiar. Trying to break the tense silence, Guiche stepped forward with his wand ready. The rest of the group looked at him, waiting for his next move.

"Seriously, after levitating you to her room, I would at least expect a thanks, as should a plebeian give to an aristocrat like me… But I guess a second time wouldn't hurt. Behold, Katie… to my graceful magic!" Guiche said to Noctis, with the next sentence obviously directed to the female that was with him in an act of showing off.

The blonde pointed his wand to the man in black, as if trying to lift him off the ground with the gesture he made with his wand. Sporting a grin, he felt confident that he would be able to cast his magic on him with ease, but nothing was happening to Noctis. Instead, what sounded like a faint shattering sound of glass came from Noctis's direction, and a very quick pulse of faint blue light emanated from him.

"B-But how…? It worked the last time…!" Guiche gasped.

"Boy, I am well aware of your intentions with your spell, and that won't work, as long as I know." Noctis emphasized to Guiche.

"Silence, plebeian! Who are you to call me, an aristocrat, a boy?!" Guiche shouted back, trying to salvage his slightly wounded pride.

"Man, you guys sure love flaunting around your status as nobility. Never had any of that kind of stuff back home, so I will never understand it." Noctis said.

"The insolence…" Guiche muttered. "…the insolence of this fool! I would've let it slide if you just apologized to me. I planned on getting this done quickly, but it looks like I'll have to use some force."

He took his rose-wand and waved it in front of him, releasing a petal and summoned a golem from the ground, made entirely of metal, brandishing a spear. The golem assumed a battle stance as it awaited orders from the mage who summoned it.

"Hey, you! Familiar! Stand down, you better apologize to him before I make you do it. And you, Guiche! I know he had some bad choice of words for you, but please don't resort to something like this! Who knows what will happen if the Headmaster finds out!" Louise pleaded.

"This one needs to be taught a lesson! Go forth, my Valkyrie!" Guiche said, ignoring Louise's pleas as he commanded the golem to charge at Noctis with the spear. With inhuman speed, the golem rushed him as commanded.

"Very well, then." muttered Noctis.

Focusing on the image of the sword his father gifted to him on his 16th birthday, worked and improved upon so many times by the master mechanic Cid Sophiar to perfection, he conjured the [Ultima Blade] from thin air as he quickly charged the golem and sliced it in half by the torso. The golem—rather, both its upper and lower body—dropped to the ground, unmoving. He held the sword for a good while, with its peculiar feature of foreign machinery by the hilt having caught the attention of the group. Grasping the sword, Noctis reassumed his standing position, masterfully waving the sword a couple times to get the familiar feeling back before dematerializing it into small crystal-like objects and disappearing completely. With a calm voice, Noctis introduced himself before the group of mages.

"Now that we can understand each other, allow me to introduce myself. I am Noctis Lucis Caelum, King of Lucis, 114th of the royal Lucian bloodline."

The group's eyes widened because of the audacious claim of the man in black, even more so Guiche as he saw his golem sliced in twain with such ease like a knife through butter.

"…or rather, was. I am no longer with my own kingdom… no longer with my friends, nor anybody else that I knew or cared about. I am but a King in name."

Guiche's expression of surprise quickly turned to anger as prepared to summon more golems. "A king?! Bullshit, don't mess with me! Here comes more of my servants! Have at you, pretender!" he shouted. He swung his wand in quick succession and released six petals, summoning six golems from the ground around Noctis and gestured them to attack him.

Brandishing the [Sword of the Just], Noctis assumed his battle stance as he stood in place, waiting for one of the golems to strike. Just as soon, one of them thrust their spear towards him, but he dodged it near-instantaneously, as if he phased through the attack. He struck down the attacking golem with a swing of the sword. Looking at one of the other golems, he threw his sword at it, with both the sword and Noctis disappearing with a blue afterglow before reappearing at one of the golems, with the sword buried through it. He pulled it out of the golem and did an aerial backflip, warp-striking at another golem, killing it instantly. He made short work of three more golems. After killing the fifth, he changed his Royal Arm to the [Sword of the Father], initiated a warp-strike to the last golem that was in front of the group, slashed it multiple times, raised the sword by his chest, and cleaved it cleanly by its center. The golem split in half, revealing the mages behind it with their jaws dropped way down and the expressions of fear visible in their faces.

"Impossible… how could he use three different weapons in such a short time…?!" Guiche exclaimed.

"Still unconvinced, I see." Noctis said to them. "If I may."

He and the runes on his left hand began to radiate an azure glow, and his eyes gave off a purple glimmer. Holding his father's sword, he swung it to his side, instantly changing to the [Ultima Blade] as it went, held it up with his two hands, pointy end facing down, and buried it partway to the ground. At that moment, thirteen crystalline weapons of varying types rained down out of nowhere behind him in a semi-circle, each one giving off a blue glow. Not long after, thirteen azure apparitions rose from the ground, picked up the weapons, each one wielding them mightily, and floated above the ground. The apparitions were clad in knight's armor and helmets that covered their faces. Noctis's forebears had come upon his behest, and manifested themselves before the surprised mages.

"Behold, they are but a numbered few of the Kings of Yore. All of them have come before me, each one of them bearing the same blood as I. I do not take kindly to being treated a… plebian. Pray tell me why I should not consider you my enemies and strike you all down where you stand." Noctis said to them.

Katie and Kirche began to quiver in fear with his threat, while Guiche and the man with them held their wands at the ready, also visibly shaking with Noctis's display of power. As Louise tried to close her mouth from the shocking revelation, she struggled to find the right words to say, lest her Familiar turned against her on the very day she summoned him. Feeling the pressure, she no longer spoke with her mind but with her heavy heart.

"I… I—" Louise slowly said as she began to break down in tears in front of Noctis, her gaze pointed down. "I have been a failure all my life…! I struggled to cast even the most basic of spells, and everyone at this Academy ridiculed me for it, going so far as to call me a Zero. As much as I hate to say it… it's true! Even to this day the spells that others were able to cast so easily has been a challenge to me. There were times I felt like I was on the verge of being disowned by my family for my failures… and today's ritual became something of a low point for me. I should be at least be able to summon a Familiar like what the others got… but you came here. I want to believe I did not fail this time with your coming! I want to believe!"

"Mother… Father… my sisters… forgive me for how weak I am…!" Louise thought as her words echoed throughout her mind.

"Louise…" Kirche said with sadness.

Noctis slightly raised his brow.

"Please, help me become a fine mage befitting the Valliere name!" Louise pleaded Noctis.

A long silenced ensued between him and the group.

Noctis let go of his grip on his weapon and it disappeared before them. He extended his left hand outward, his palm facing the apparitions. The Kings of Yore dissipated into thin air as small crystalline objects, and his glowing blue aura faded into nothing, and his eyes lost their purple glow. He then put his hand back down, with the runes having lost their glow as well.

"… Louise, was it?" Noctis said to break the awkward silence. "Your anguish reminded me of myself, as I was long ago."

Louise raised her head and her eyes met with his. Noctis warped in front of Louise, and she was taken aback by his sudden appearance in front of her.

"All right, then… I will help you with your goal, but only on one condition." he said.

The group gulped in unison as they awaited his terms.

"There must be a reason for my coming here, and I plan to find that out myself. If you have a problem with me pursuing my own agenda, then… I will not hesitate to leave you to fend for yourself. That is my only condition."

Louise nodded slightly without saying a word, signaling her affirmation.

"Besides, Bahamut's basically asking me to be someone's meat shield... not something I'd prefer to be. Maybe there's meaning behind that Astral's words…" Noctis thought.

"Before anything else, let us return to Louise's room, where I will be able to recount my story, and answer any questions you all might have. I also have some questions regarding this world, so I think it's a fair exchange." Noctis said. "Well then, Louise… I'll have you lead the way back. Looking at the size of the building, I might get lost easily."

"O-Okay… follow me." Louise faintly said, as she began to head back to the building. Noctis followed behind her, leaving Guiche, Katie, Kirche, and the man she was with behind.

"This sounds like a load of crap to me… but after tonight's spectacle, I will have to listen to what he has to say." Guiche said.

"This was too much for me… I'll quietly retreat to my quarters and pass this off as a dream, Lord Guiche. I'll tell no soul about what happened here. Well then… I'll bring the soufflé as I promised and I'll see you tomorrow!" Katie said to him, leaving for her room thereafter.

"What an interesting man, I should say~" Kirche uttered in excitement. "I'll be coming with you, Guiche."

Kirche then looked at the man beside her. "Sorry darling, but I'll see you some other time!" she said.

As Noctis followed Louise, a stray thought drifted to his mind.

"Dad… what would you have done?" he thought.


[Louise's room]

Upon entering the room, Noctis took one of the chairs by the table at the center and sat down on it, his arms on the table. Louise sat at her bed, mentally preparing herself. Guiche and Kirche entered not long after, with both of them taking a chair for themselves and sat down.

With his brow furled, Guiche was the first one to ask Noctis a question.

"I don't buy it. You say you're a king, but we were taught the important monarchs of this world, and you are certainly not one of them. Who exactly are you?" he asked.

"Like I said… I am Noctis Lucis Caelum CXIV, King of Lucis. You guys can call me Noctis if you want. I hail from the world of Eos, of which we only have one moon, as I recall your world has two. I shouldn't even be alive right now, but Bahamut told me that the powers of the Ring brought me back, and the next thing I know, I'm in this world through some strange connection. Inexplicable as it seems, that's what happened to me." Noctis answered.

"Another world? Unbelievable…" Louise said.

"Bahamut…? Ring…?" Kirche asked.

"Without going to detail, Bahamut is one of the six gods my world worships. Astrals, as they are called. I have made a covenant with each one of them, but I had to vanquish three of them… Titan, Leviathan, and Ifrit. Let's just say… they weren't on speaking terms with me." Noctis calmly said.

"First you say you're a king, now you tell me you have slain gods?! Primogenitor help me, He ought to smite you this instant…!" Guiche said in shock.

"Do I look like I'm joking, boy? I have done so before, and if needed be, I will do so again." Noctis calmly said.

"I have a name, and it's Guiche…!" he said as gritted his teeth slightly, holding any more words back.

"What about this Ring that you mentioned?" Louise asked.

"The Ring was an heirloom that was bestowed by the Astrals to the first king, The Founder. It was passed down generation by generation, and I was the last one to wear it. The ring absorbed the souls of the previous kings as they died, and all their powers and knowledge were contained in it. After my final battle, it crumbled into nothingness, but Bahamut said that its powers made me whole once more and were absorbed by my soul. Believe what you all will, I do not expect you to do so." Noctis said.

He raised his right hand and conjured the [Sword of the Father] for everyone to see. "This was my father's sword. My bloodline allows me to call forth from anywhere by my will, the weapons of my forebears… every single one of them, and sheathe them back unto nothingness. This selfsame power allows me to warp to where I throw my weapon… as you all have seen firsthand. As of now, I can summon thirteen others, but I will be able to summon every one of them as my strength fully comes back to me in time." He then dismissed the sword.

"Ah, it's the same sword from the Familiar Summoning Ritual!" Louise exclaimed.

"Now that I got a good look at it, you're right…" Kirche said in agreement.

"Warp? Weapons out of thin air? Extraordinary… such power brought down my golems with ease…" Guiche said.

"By the way… where did you get your clothing? It has this enigmatic feel… and it really looks good on you!" Kirche complimented.

"This… this suit is a part of my royal garment. It has been tailor-made for me after my ascension as King, and is imbued with special protective magics. The whole thing was too heavy, so I wore this for a while." Noctis answered.

"Ehhh, a 'suit'? Yours is truly a different kind, unlike what the royalty in this continent usually wears. In any case, looking at you wearing it does give off this mysterious air around you…" Kirche said, expressing her admiration.

"Now it's my turn. Tell me everything you know about this place, Louise." Noctis said to her.

"U-Um… you are in the Tristan Academy of Magic, where nobles and aristocrats attend to study magic and become mages. Tristain is but one of the nations in the continent of Halkeginia. Albion, Germania, Gallia, and Romalia are the nations that make up the rest of the continent. And… today was the Familiar Summoning ritual, where all the second year students called forth their Familiars. Kirche here summoned a salamander, while Guiche's was… an oversized mole, if that's what you could call it." Louise answered.

From the front door, Kirche and Guiche's Familiars entered the room and looked at Louise, as if they heard her calling them in. Noctis looked at their direction and a slight expression of surprise formed in his face.

"But it's strange, for another human to be a Familiar… you really didn't pull him from the markets, did you Louise?" Kirche jokingly poked at Louise.

"Th-That's not it, I tell you! Really…" Louise replied as she pouted.

"Magic? And what's with this Familiar business anyway? Why is it important?" Noctis asked.

"You see Noctis, magic is what separates the aristocrats from the plebeians. The former are those capable of casting magic, thus we study here so that we may hone our skills by the time we graduate from this Academy. On the other hand, the latter are those who were not born or blessed with magic, and so this country—and the others—follow a hierarchical system placing the royalty at the top, followed by the aristocrats, and finally the plebeians at the bottom. I cannot say for certain if your abilities are indeed magic, but they are unlike anything that I've seen or what they taught us in the Academy." Guiche explained to him.

"Furthermore, a Familiar is a mage's servant the moment it is called forth, and they serve them for the rest of their lives. They are bound to their masters by their runes, such as the one on your left hand." Louise added.

Noctis looked at the back of his left hand where runes of a foreign design were inscribed, and his expression turned into one of disapproval.

"Until death?" Noctis said. "Unfortunately, serving you until my dying breath does not sit well with me. I only agreed to help you become a better mage, not being your butler. Trust me, I would make a very bad butler."

Louise frowned with his words, unable to protest his intentions. She has seen what he was capable of, and attempting to assert her dominance over him would most likely get her killed, she thought.

"In any case, this has been a long night for all of us, and it's getting very late. Why don't we all go to sleep tonight and continue this tomorrow? Unless, you want to come with me to my room, Noctis? I'll make better company than your mage there~" Kirche queried, all the while brazenly seducing the king.

"Sigh, no thanks. Last thing I need is to be a heartbreak." Noctis said as he shot down Kirche instantly.

"Oho, playing at servant with Louise already? My, my… but I won't be deterred so easily! Let us be off, Flame!" Kirche said as she left the room with her Familiar giving a growl and following behind her.

"You dummy! Why did you have to say tha—" Louise embarrassingly asked Noctis before being cut off.

"It's not you, it's—" Noctis gritted his teeth and stopped himself from saying his lover's name to spare himself from any grief, but he reaffirmed himself that his heart was only for her, even though she laid beyond his reach. He then let out a big sigh.

"Noctis?" Louise called for him out of concern.

"It's nothing. I better get some sleep for tomorrow. I'll just sleep on the floor," he said. "I've been in worse."

"Though your power speaks for itself, I will still take your tale with a grain of salt for now. Until then." Guiche said as he left with his Familiar and closed the door behind him.

Louise then stood up from her bed and took out her nightgown from her drawer.

"Turn around, Familiar! I'll be changing my clothes. And don't you dare look!" she said.

"All right, all right. And it's Noctis." he said. He looked outside the window to the school grounds.

Louise tossed aside her uniform and wore her nightgown. Noctis could hear the rustling of her clothes, but he did not dare to look behind him and defile a young lady's dignity. After changing her clothes, she snapped her fingers. In an instant, the candles lighting the room extinguished themselves. The moonlight shone on her pale, petite figure as she walked to her bed and laid down, getting ready to sleep.

"Hey, Noctis?" she asked.

"Yes, Louise?" he asked back, without moving his body an inch as he continued to stare outside the window.

"I recall you saying before that you were alone. What happened to your friends? Your world?" she asked.

Silence filled the room as Noctis pondered for a while before answering her question.

"… They're alive and well, but to them I am the King who paid with his life to rid the world of its scourge. Knowing that they yet live for another day is enough for me…" he said as a single tear fell down his left cheek.

"…and I miss them dearly." he said under his breath.

Louise saw the tear fall down his stoic face, but spoke nothing of it, trying not to break Noctis's solemn moment. She instead took a moment to make note of his flowing silver hair, unshaven face, and weary eyes, wondering about what he had gone through in the past that made him look that way. She then said her last words for the night before drifting off to sleep.

"Well then… I'll show you around the Academy tomorrow, but try not to make a scene as the other students do not know who you truly are. You better get some rest too, so… good night… Noctis." she said before she slumbered off.

"Good night… Louise." he said, as he looked on out to the fields bathed under the luminescence of the twin moons.

"The age of kings and oracles has come to pass… but your adventures dawn on a new chapter, my friends. Walk tall."


ROYAL ARMS ENCYCLOPEDIA

[Sword of the Father]

"A king was father to the Chosen One, and nurtured the light that would shine upon all creations. This was his mighty sword. It makes the great greater."


ROYAL ARMS ENCYCLOPEDIA

[Sword of the True] (Ultima Blade)

"A king had endured pain and sacrifice to ascend as the Chosen One, and shone the blessing of the Light upon all. This was his sword. It grows stronger with every foe it slays."


Afterword

All right! Fresh chapter off the oven after some criticisms from Chapter 2. While I may still borrow some plot points from the anime, we are pretty much off the canon now, at least in terms of the Louise-Noctis relationship. I also moved the duel with Guiche to the very night he was summoned, but calling it a duel is a stretch… an 'act of self-defense' is a bit more appropriate, for that matter. Next chapter will focus on Noctis's interaction with the Academy, and possibly a meeting with Principal Osmond and maybe Colbert.

Hopefully this chapter clears any doubt some readers had with the direction this story was going. Thank you again for reading my work! Until next time!