AUTHORS NOTE: I be back from London! Sorry this took so long to get up, but there should be a new chapter up very soon! That is all :-)
DISCLAIMER: Final Fantasy X, its characters, locations and plotlines are owned by Square Enix. I do not claim to own any of these. However, I do own my original character Sakura, also known as Suki. If you wish to use her in any form of media then please ask my permission first.
Blahblahblah stupid legalities :-P ON WITH THE STORY!
Chapter 6 – Discoveries
Wakka's village was pretty small, with only a handful of huts scattered about with the Temple of Yevon facing us about 25 metres away, and a white circle on the ground in the middle of the village, seemingly acting as a village square (a village circle if you will), but it was adorably cute and quaint all the same.
"Besaid Village!" Wakka announced.
"They got any food there?" Tidus asked, looking around at the huts.
I smirked. "Getting your priorities right I see, Tidus", I grinned, but right on cue, my stomach grumbled. I blushed, and Wakka chuckled.
"We'll get you somethin' over there later", he said, pointing to one of the huts on our right, presumably his own hut. "Take a look around first. Let's see…the Crusaders' lodge is over yonder", he pointed to our left. "Luzzu and Gatta are usually there."
I face-palmed again. 'Yonder'? 'T'would'? Why did all these people speak old-fashioned?
Wakka clapped Tidus and I on our shoulders and began to walk away, before stopping suddenly.
"Oh right…" he muttered, turning back to us. "Over here", he hissed, motioning us back the way we came.
"What's up?" Tidus asked as we followed him back to the foot of the hill.
"You do remember the prayer, right?" Wakka asked, leaning close to Tidus so nobody passing by could hear him.
Tidus glanced over at me, and I nodded slightly. Even if he didn't think he knew the prayer, he had seen Wakka and the other Blitz players do it on the beach when we'd dragged ourselves out of the sea.
But seeing as Tidus probably didn't realise what Wakka meant by 'the prayer' he ignored my gesture and shook his head.
"You musta forgot or somthin'. Here, I'll show you", Wakka offered, and Tidus nodded gratefully.
Wakka stepped back and demonstrated the prayer he had done on the beach.
"Go ahead, you try", he nodded to Tidus.
Tidus frowned in concentration as he clumsily attempted to replicate Wakka's movement. It was…adequate, if I was being really kind. At the very least, people would be able to tell he was attempting the prayer of Yevon, even though they'd probably wonder why he was so bad at it.
Tidus lifted his head expectantly after the bow at the end, and Wakka tried to smooth out his screwed up face.
"...Not bad", he sighed slightly before turning to me. "Suki? You okay with the prayer and everythin'?" he asked.
I nodded. "Yup!" I smiled, before demonstrating.
Uncle Cid had taught me the prayer of Yevon when I was a kid. Even though we don't follow the teachings of Yevon, he said it was good manners to do the overly-gestured bow if I ever found myself in a temple or around very religious people.
Wakka nodded and clapped us both on our shoulders again, before saying, "Okay, now you two go present yourself to the temple summoner", and headed back into the village.
Tidus looked angry at himself.
"What's up?" I asked when I was sure Wakka was far enough away that he couldn't hear us.
He shook his head. "Any Blitzball player would know that prayer", he growled at himself, looking down at the floor, "It's the Blitzball sign for victory. How did I not recognise it when they did it on the beach?!"
"Hey, you had no way of knowing that what you call a victory sign is what we all call a prayer", I said, placing my hands on my hips and leaning down to look him in the eye, "Don't beat yourself up about it! It's not a big deal anyway; Wakka was fine with showing you it."
He nodded and looked back up at me. "Yeah…you're right. Thanks Suki", he smiled.
I grinned. "C'mon, let's check out the village", I said, grabbing his hand and pulling him after me.
Wakka was coming out of one of the smaller huts to our left. I turned to Tidus.
"You okay to go see the Crusaders or get some food by yourself?" I asked. "I need to go ask Wakka something."
Tidus nodded. "Yeah, no problem. But can we meet up again before we go in there?" he pointed at the temple.
"Yeah, no problem", I agreed, not really wanting to go I there myself either. "I'll meet you outside the temple in fifteen minutes, okay?"
He nodded, and walked off towards the tent Wakka had told us had food. I watched him go before running up to Wakka, who now had his back to me.
"Wakka!" I called, and he turned round.
"Suki! You okay?" he asked.
I nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just wondered if you maybe knew someone I could borrow some clothes from? I kinda want to get out of this thing", I gestured to the jumpsuit.
Wakka took in the hideously bright orange clothing. "I was wonderin' about that. Why you wearing that anyway?"
"I help my uncle on his boat, and he says I have to wear this", I said truthfully. "He and my cousin catch fish in the sea off of Bevelle."
Now that was a lie, but I was quite proud of how quickly I'd came up with it! Don't get me wrong kids, lying is wrong! I don't condone lying AT ALL, but in some situations that I get into, sometimes it's essential. And since I'm presuming that nobody reading this is going to face the same problems as I do, what with none of you being Al Bhed and all (or I'm guessing none of you are anyway), you shouldn't lie! EVER! Got it? Get it? Good.
"Well, give me a minute", Wakka said, before heading into one of the nearby huts.
He emerged a few minutes later with something blue folded up under his arm.
"One of my team-mates, Letty, he's got a daughter 'bout the same age as you I'm guessing. She said you can keep this," he smiled, holding out the clothing to me. "You can change in there", he pointed to the hut behind me.
"Tell her I say thanks, will you?" I asked and he nodded, before I turned and walked into the tent.
In it there was a young woman with dark skin and long black hair in two bunches over her shoulders kneeling on the floor behind a small table. She smiled up at me expectantly.
"Hello there! Welcome to my shop. How may I help you?"
"Erm, Wakka told me I could change back here?" I explained, holding up the clothing.
I expected her to be a little annoyed that I wasn't here to buy anything, but her smile didn't fade at all.
"Yes, of course that's no problem! You can change in the back."
I smiled back at her and walked behind a screen at the back of the shop.
Wakka had given me a short baby blue dress with thin black straps to hold it up over my shoulders. There was a thin orange belt to tie around my waist, probably Wakka's attempt at a joke, but it wasn't as hideously orange as the dive-suit. In fact, it went quite well with the colour of the dress.
As I pulled the dive-suit off, I felt a bulge in the pocket. As I slipped my hand in, I gasped. I'd completely forgotten about the goggles Brother had thrown at me until I pulled them out. My eyes started to tear up. I hadn't stopped long enough to think about it before, but I felt so alone now. Sure, I had Tidus and Wakka, but I barely knew them. For my whole life, especially since I lost my parents, I'd always had Rikku, Brother and Uncle Cid around me; I was never truly alone, but now… I had no idea when I'd see them again.
I dried my eyes and shook my head angrily. I couldn't let anyone see me like this. I didn't want Tidus or Wakka to think I was weak. So far Tidus had treated me like an equal, not like a silly little girl he felt he had to protect. I wanted to keep it like that. I could take care of myself; despite the fact Brother had always acted like he was better than Rikku and me because he was a boy, he'd always made sure we could fend for ourselves if we had to. I sighed quietly to myself. I missed him…and Uncle Cid…and Rikku…
"You okay back there?" the shop girl asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine!" I called back.
I slipped the dress over my head and found that it came to just above my knee. Good: not too long that I couldn't run or climb in it, but not too short that people could see my underpants if I bent down.
It had a v-shaped slit with a border the same colour as the belt running from my shoulders down to my chest, and my skin was covered by a white under-shirt sown into the dress.
I tied the belt around my waist, which made the dress fit a bit better, and shoved my brown ankle boots back on. I gently pulled the black goggles over my head and let them rest round my neck, the same way Rikku has hers when she's not wearing her dive-suit.
I folded up my suit and stepped out from behind the screen. The young woman looked round and smiled.
"That dress looks really nice on you", she remarked.
"Thank you", I smiled back, "and thank you for letting me change back here."
I felt bad leaving without buying something from her, so I looked about at some of the stuff she had for sale on her table. My eyes were drawn to a simple necklace with a silver chain with a single, almost translucent blue crystal dangling from it. As I picked it up to have a closer look, I saw that there was a tiny white petal held frozen within it.
"It's a fossilised moon lily petal", the shop girl told me. "It's rather beautiful, don't you think?"
I nodded in agreement. "How much is it?" I asked, turning my attention back to her.
She shook her head. "You keep it. It may bring you luck on your journey," she smiled, before doing a kneeling-down version of the prayer.
I frowned. How did she know if I was going on a "journey"? I didn't even know for sure I was going on a "journey"! But, I smiled back at her and bowed politely, before thanking her again and leaving the shop.
There was no sign of either Tidus or Wakka, so I placed my dive-suit down for a moment and secured the necklace around my neck, making sure it didn't get tangled in the goggles.
Just then Tidus came out of the tent across from me. He jogged over to me.
"Hey. Nice dress", he smiled.
"Thanks. You get to talk to the Crusaders?"
He nodded. "They asked loads of questions, especially the younger one, Gatta. They said that if Sin had attacked us recently then it was probably nearby…"
"So they're worried it might attack the island next", I finished for him.
"Pretty much. They were surprised that it hadn't attacked it already though."
"Hmm…that is kinda weird…but I guess it's a good thing, right?" I smiled. "So did you find out what the Crusaders are? Cause if you didn't, you'll have to go back and ask them yourself! I'm under orders from Wakka not to tell you anything!" I winked cheekily.
He grinned. "Don't worry, I asked. Luzzu got Gatta to tell me. He gave me the whole history, but I'll spare you the details. Basically, they've been fighting Sin for over 800 years, driving it away from and protecting the temples, towns, villages and people of Spira. Sound about right?"
"Yep. That's pretty much what I know of them too," I agreed.
Tidus frowned. "They said nobody had ever defeated Sin, but when I asked them whose job it is to defeat it, they refused to tell me. Said I should go pray at the temple and see if Yevon helps me to get my memory back." He shook his head. "I hate all this lying. I've never prayed in my life!"
I smiled sympathetically. "Well…" I started, not really sure how to continue this conversation, "…you get something to eat?"
He smiled and nodded again. "Yeah. You?"
I shook my head, and he held something out for me. He had rolled up a cream bun in a napkin for me. I grabbed it off of him, forgetting to thank him, and bit into it, the cream filling spurting all over my hands. I hadn't eaten in what felt like a lifetime.
"Looks like you're enjoying that", Tidus chucked.
I finished off the last bite and wiped my mouth and hands with the napkin, finally remembering my manners.
"Thanks Tidus", I grinning. "I needed that."
"I can see that", he smirked, ruffling my hair like a little kid.
As I grumbled and patted my hair back down, Tidus flicked at the goggles.
I grinned again. "Yep. Brother's prop in his terrible excuse for a miming act."
We both started laughing softly at the memory, before turning towards the temple.
"You ready?" he asked, sounding about as nervous as I felt.
I nodded and tried to sound confident, "Yeah, let's go."
As we walked into the temple, the sound of the hymn of the Fayth surrounded us. The song resonated throughout all the temples in Spira. The story goes that the song soothes the souls of the dead, but I'm not sure if I believe that. Then again, I have always liked the hymn. The weeks and months after my parents died, Rikku sang it to me every night to get me to sleep, even though she was mourning for her own mother. The song's always been special to the two of us, although for different reasons than it is for the rest of Spira.
There were many different statues which stood around the perimeter of the temple, with different people praying to each one, and there was a tall staircase at the side furthest away from us leading up to the chamber of the Fayth.
Tidus was looking about at the statues and the beautifully decorated walls and ceiling open-mouthed. I would've bet any amount of Gil that he'd never been in a temple before in his life. This world must be so different to the one he's used to.
He walked up to one of the statues. I started to follow him then, realising who it was a statue of, I stopped myself.
"Ten years have passed since Lord Braska became High Summoner", a man standing next to the statue told Tidus.
I walked out of earshot. I didn't want to hear the story of Lord Braska again. Uncle Cid had told me the story of his brother-in-law many times already.
"What's a High Summoner?" I heard Tidus ask loudly.
I joined everyone else in the temple in turning to face him. Everyone else had looks of disbelief on their faces, especially the man who'd been talking to him.
"Erm…I…I got too close to Sin's…err…toxin", he said quickly, turning to face the rest of the people staring at him.
Everyone gasped. Some even stepped back a little. I just sighed. To me, that excuse was getting pretty old, but I knew Tidus had to keep this act up, so I didn't say anything.
"The summoners are practitioners of a sacred art", the man began, "sworn to protect the people of Yevon. Only a chosen few become summoners, who call forth entities of great powers: the Aeons. The Aeons hear our prayers and come down to us. They are the blessing of Yevon."
I was surprised at how everyone just seemed to accept that Tidus had supposedly forgotten everything because he'd gotten too close to Sin. I thought people would've had loads of questions for him. But apparently not. Maybe people were not only afraid of getting close to Sin, but also getting close to anything else that had gotten close to Sin, if that makes any sense.
Everyone who had been staring at Tidus before had now moved away, not needing to hear the story of the summoners or the Aeons again, having probably been told about them since they were children.
I didn't need to hear it again either, but I was curious as to how this man would explain things to Tidus. Uncle Cid had a very biased view of summoners, saying that all the responsibility put on them wasn't fair, but I'd never really listened to him. I figured he was just saying that because he'd been close to Lord Braska, and people's opinions of things tend to change if it's affected someone you know well.
Tidus and I stayed in the temple for a little while longer, before heading back out to find Wakka. Plus, we were both still hungry. What can I say; I'm a growing girl! One cream bun ain't gonna cut it! We found him in his hut, kneeling over a small fire which he was cooking some kind of fish on.
"Hey guys", he said when we came in. "Sorry, not time for lunch yet. Take a nap, you two looked bushed."
I had to admit, I was pretty tired, and by the huge yawn Tidus gave, so was he.
Wakka told me to sleep on his bed, and he made up a makeshift bed on the floor out of spare blankets and pillows for Tidus.
I waited until Tidus had his bed made up before I lay down on the real bed. I didn't realise how tired I was, and my eyes were soon closing on their own accord…