Hey look at that! I am back yet again with a new chapter for this story! I hope everyone is doing well and let's get into the next chapter!
Morning came and Cloud headed out of the room to find some breakfast to eat. He realized pretty quickly that he was one of the first up, as no one else was in the area. Soon enough Zack strolled in and took a seat next to him.
"Good morning, Cloud!"
"Morning, Zack," Cloud replied. It still felt weird to speak so naturally to Zack, but he wasn't going to pass up any moment for it.
"How're you feeling? Ready for another day of adventure?"
"I guess so. Depends what the others are going to do first."
Zack nodded before stretching his arms a little. "Either way it's going to be fun! Can't wait to get out there and start fighting monsters again."
"And what about that second surprise?"
Zack smirked. "You'll see it when it's the right time."
"Okay," Cloud nodded.
"Just got to have the right time for it. Probably once we're out of the city, but we'll have to see!"
"You're really excited about this."
"You really are excited about this, aren't you?"
Zack chuckled. "Yeah I guess… but I'm mostly excited about just being here. I get a chance to live again, and I get to team up with you. It brings back good memories of all those missions we did together. You know, minus all the other crap and Shinra being evil and stuff."
"Yeah, I remember those missions. Really was so long ago…"
"But you can remember them nowadays, right? Without too much pain? I don't want to start rambling if it's only going to hurt you thinking about it."
Cloud shook his head. "Nah, everything's okay now. I think after all these years, I've finally gotten better. I tell Denzel and Marlene about you a lot and it feels good to talk about it."
"Aww passing on my story! Thanks buddy!" Zack grinned. "And now you'll have a new story to tell them!"
"Sure. Whenever we get back."
"Yeah… don't know when that'll be, but we can pull through."
Soon enough Ignis, Prompto, and Gladio headed into the room. Each of them took a swat at the table as they awaited for food to be served.
"So, what do you guys wanna do until Noctis wakes up?" Prompto asked. "I was thinking of going to check around the town. You know, see what historical sites there are."
"Historical sites sound pretty cool. I've really only looked around the shops so far," Zack replied.
Ignis hummed. "I think that idea does sound rather pleasant. It still will be some time before Noct decides to crawl his way out of bed."
After everyone agreed, they got their food and began to eat. It wasn't long before everyone had finished and they headed towards the front of the lobby. Near the entrance was the young boy Talcott. With a wide grin he ran up to the group, looking full of life and energy.
"Are you guys going to explore the town?"
"Yeah, you wanna join us little dude?" Prompto asked.
"Of course! I can show you and tell you guys all about the history of the city too! I've been reading up a lot on it before you guys even got here!" Talcott said, beaming brightly.
Cloud smiled. "If you want to lead us, then I have no problem with that."
All of the other men nodded in agreement and Talcott seemed to grow even more excited. Right away he started talking about how old the hotel they were staying in was. Iris opted to stay back, saying she was going to wait until Noctis woke up, so he wouldn't worry where everyone went.
With that settled the group followed after Talcott, as he continued to talk about everything he had on his mind. He rambled happily as the group headed out into the city, and he was ready to show them all the important points.
Cloud listening, smiling the entire time. This boy still reminded him of Denzel, but he had his own energy to him. It was pleasant at least to see, even if it did make him miss Denzel deep down inside. Though as he was lost in his thoughts, the boy suddenly walked closer to him.
"So who are you? I don't recall Prince Noctis having more than three people in his retinue."
"I'm not really from around here," Cloud answered. "Neither is Zack."
"But you're here to help Prince Noctis?"
"Can I ask you some more questions? I wanna know more about where you're from. Your clothes and stuff are all different, and I have a lot of questions I wanna ask."
Cloud nodded and smiled. "If you want to, I don't mind."
"Yeah, me neither!" Zack interjected. "It sounds fun!"
"Okay! So are you related at all to Prompto? You kind of look like. Zack even looks a little like Prince Noctis, but that may be because of the messy black hair."
Cloud glanced over to Prompto and the other blond let out a snort. "I guess we should have expected to hear more of that, eh Cloud?"
"I wonder if we swapped clothes and did our hair up, would anyone know?" Prompto laughed.
"There's one thing you're forgetting," Gladio smirked. "The dead giveaway is that Cloud is built and you aren't."
"And the eyes as well. Can't mimic mako blue eyes," Zack added.
"I could get contacts!" Prompto huffed.
"Still, I don't see it working, but nice though Blondie," Gladio replied, smirking a little wider.
"So you aren't related. Hm interesting," Talcott hummed with a soft chuckle. "So where are you from then?"
Bending over, Cloud came a little closer to Talcott. "A traveler from another world. Zack too."
Cloud smiled as he could see Talcott's eyes light up. The excitement ran across his whole face as he started to think of more things to ask. "So what's your world like then? How similar is it to ours? Do you have cactuars? Please tell me you have cactuars!"
"If we are to discuss this matter, I think we may want to head back to the Leville," Ignis advised. "It isn't a light subject to talk about so broadly outdoors."
Talcott started to pull Cloud along. "Come on then! I want to hear about all the stuff in your world! Then I can trade and tell you more stuff about this world!"
The rest of the men watched as Cloud let himself be pulled away by Talcott, heading back the direction they came. They could still hear the young boy asking about cactuars and explaining why he loved them so much.
"Talcott's really taken a liking to him," Gladio commented.
"Ah, that's Cloud for you," Zack replied. "He has a way with kids."
"Really?" Prompto asked. "I didn't think he was the type, you know, being all quiet and stuff."
"Ah, Cloud can really surprise you at times. Ask him about Denzel, you'll see him completely come out of that quiet, shy shell of his."
"Denzel? Who's that?" Prompto asked.
Zack just smirked. "Just ask Cloud. He'll tell you."
"You really love making everything a mystery," Gladio grunted.
"It's more fun that way," Zack laughed. "Come on, let's go catch up with them."
With the four men walking back, they found Cloud and Talcott sitting in the lobby. Of course the young boy was still talking about cactuars, but Cloud was putting in his own words here and there. He started talking about some of the huge cactuars he had encountered on his own journey when the guys were coming closer.
"Hey Zack," Cloud grinned. "Didn't you dance with a cactuar summon once?"
Zack ran up to the two and pouted. "You weren't telling that story were you!? I'd rather forget that humiliating dance!"
"But you just admitted to it."
"Can you tell me about it?" Talcott asked with wide eyes. "I never heard of cactuars dancing before."
Zack sighed, flopping over partially. "Now look at what you did! You got the kid all excited."
"Then tell the story," Cloud replied. "It's not that bad. You're not a bad dancer."
"Oh yeah?" Zack started to say as he looked up. "How about we tell everyone about the time you had to dance at the Hon-"
Cloud placed his hand over Zack's mouth, his cheeks slightly red. "We're not bringing that up."
Zack said something, muffled under Cloud's hand so he pulled away and he spoke again. "Then no cactuar dance."
Talcott looked up at Zack with wide eyes. "Not even telling me? I could give you some good info if you tell me."
"What? You're barging info now? You're a sneaky little kid," Zack sighed, starting to smile a little. "Okay, fine. I'll tell you about the cactuar dance, but then you gotta tell us the information you've been withholding. Deal?"
Zack then sat down to tell his short, but amusing story. Everyone listened in, but Talcott seemed to be the most engaged by it. He snickered and laughed by the end of it, seeming pleased with the story.
After that, Talcott then went on to tell what he wanted to tell the entire group. He started to tell them about this new legend he had been reading up on the other day. It was about a sword that was hidden behind a beautiful waterfall.
By the time he finished Iris and Noctis headed back into the Leville. Quickly they had Talcott recap what they had just been told. Ignis was the one who came to the conclusion that there could be one of the lost tombs, meaning there could be a royal arm out there.
The group started to head out to the car when Zack grabbed Cloud's shoulder. "Probably should grab Fenrir first, right? And then we can meet up with the guys over at the car?"
"Sure," Cloud nodded.
"Sounds good. See you there," Noctis said with a wave.
Cloud and Zack headed over to where Zack had left the motorcycle. Unveiling it, Cloud stepped on to it and started up the engine. He felt Zack get on behind him, moving a bit closer. "So finally getting to ride Fenrir!"
"You know it!"
"Well we need to start slow until we're out of town, okay?"
Zack sighed. "Yeah whatever, but then we will be on the open road! It's going to be awesome!"
"Alright, then let's get going," Cloud said as he started to pull the motorcycle through the alleyway out into the main road.
After exiting out onto the main road, they drove down to the parking lot. The guys were already around their car, looking at the map on where to go. They chatted briefly, pointing out where they would be headed and Cloud agreed he would follow carefully behind them.
When it was all set and done, they headed out. The four guys in the Regalia, with Cloud and Zack on Fenrir. Cloud knew they should expect anything at this point, but still in the back of his mind it was crazy to think what was happening. He was about to continue his adventure now with Zack by his side.
Part of his mind still had a hard time trying to comprehend that fact, for that part of his mind knew the truth. The truth that still left a heavy weight in his chest whenever he thought about it, even after all these years.
He had to look past that though. This was a different world. This was a special chance he had to take and keep on embracing. Having an new adventure with Zack… he was going to make sure he never would lose these memories.