A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)

BY : tuatha
Category: Final Fantasy X > General
Dragon prints: 1094
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy X, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)

Part Twenty-nine

The ghost of Yunalesca stood when we approached, apparently sensing nothing different about our resolve.

"Have you chosen the one to become your fayth? Who will it be?"

Yuna stood firm. "Might I ask something first? Will Sin come back, even should I defeat it with the Final
Summoning?"

"Sin is eternal. Every Aeon that defeats it becomes Sin in its place. And thus Sin is reborn."

"So that's why Jecht became Sin." Tidus spoke, acknowledging Yunalesca's words.

It was an answer that finally made sense, in a sick kind of way. I couldn't believe I hadn't pieced this
together myself. Every summoner who arrived here chose one of their guardians to become the Final Aeon.
Of course the long pilgrimage together forged a bond of love so close that the sacrifice was made willingly.

The chosen guardian was bonded to their summoner as an aeon, then somehow became Sin. It didn't
explain how a sacrifice made out of love so strong and deep could become something so terrible,
perpetuating the evil of Sin's presence, but it did explain a lot.

Yunalesca replied. "Sin is an inevitable part of Spira's destiny. It is eternal, never-ending."

"Never-ending?" Wakka sounded shocked by her words. "But...but if we atone for our crimes, one day Sin
will be gone. Sin will stop coming back someday?"

"Will humanity ever attain such purity?" She asked him implacably.

"This cannot be!" Lulu interjected. "The teachings state we can exorcise Sin with complete atonement. It's
been our only hope all these years."

"Hope is comforting. It allows us to accept fate, however tragic it might be."

She was beginning to sound an awful lot like Seymour. Tidus and Auron both responded at the same time.

"No!"

Then I realised it wasn't Auron. He was standing with an anguished look on his face, as his younger self
confronted Yunalesca, who looked exactlyshe she did now, unchanged and youthful for over a thousand
years.

"Where is the sense in all this? Braska believed in Yevon's teachings and died for them!
Jecht believed in Braska and gave his life for him!"

They chose to die, because they had hope."

"Nooooooooo!"

I watched, horrified, as Auron raised his sword and ran forward with a cry. I wanted to throw myself upon
him and deflect him from his fateful course. I wanted to stand between him and her deadly blow, but I was
ten years too late to intervene in his fate.

His broken body hit the floor, gasping in agony as his blood flowed thick and fast, forming a deep pool
beneath him, staining his crimson robe black, as life flowed from his body. Then the ghostly echo faded,
and he was standing apart from us, shadowed, pained with a memory held secret for so long and finally
revealed to us all.

Yunalesca was unfazed by the memory that flowed by us, or perhaps she didn't see it. She continued.
"Yevon's teachings and the Final Summoning give the people of Spira hope. Without hope, they would
drown in their sorrow. Now, choose. Who will be your fayth?

"Who will be the one to renew Spira's hope?"

"No one!" Yuna's voice rang out loudly. Perhaps it was seeing the sacrifices of those who had come here
before us only to find them all in vain, but Yuna was now irrevocably opposed to continuing on her path if
it meant sacrificing one of her guardians too.

"I would have gladly given my life to free Spira from its pain. I live for the people of Spira, I would have
given my life for them! But no more! The Final Summoning...is wrong. It is a false tradition, borne of a
false hope. It must stop."

"No. It is our only hope. Your father sacrificed himself to give that hope to the people. So they would
forget sorrow."

"You're wrong! My father...my father wanted to defeat Sin. He wanted to make Spira's sorrow, Spira's
suffering go away! Not just cover it up with lies!"

"Sorrow cannot be abolished. It is meaningless to try."

"No! I loved my father...so I will live with my sorrow. I will be strong, and someday I will defeat sorrow,
and I will do it without false hope."

"Poor creature? Would you throw away Spira's hope? Well, I will free you before you drown in your own
sorrow. It is better for you to die in hope than live in despair."

Then she changed, no longer beautiful and wise seeming, she became something terrible, showing her true
fiendish face to us.

"Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose!" Auron shouted, as if he'd been waiting for this moment to
arrive. "Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Your fate is in your hands!"

Instead of blindly following the path set before us, as so many summoners and guardians had done before,
we had refused. For that Yunalesca was going to try to eliminate us. If she thought I was going to let her
exterminate us so she could sit here in her lair until the next summoner and guardian was caught in her web
she was sadly mistaken.

"Well, I'm fighting!" I ran forward to take my place beside Auron.

"I can't believe this!" Wakka said.

"You can always run away." Lulu chided him.

"Ha! I'd never forgive myself."

"My thoughts exactly." She responded, and smiled at him.

"Yuna! Let's see this through together!"

My cousin looked at Tidus, her love for him shining clearly in her eyes. Then she nodded. "For Spira! For
my father...and yours."

Then we fought. Yunalesca was like a snake, twisting with venom as she rained evil upon us. I fumbled in
my mind for the calm that would allow me to reach into the white light inside my soul, gaining strength
from the connection I could feel between myself and the others, where they resided in my heart. A flash of
white struck my vision, removing from us her poisonous intent. Then Yuna raised her f anf and chanted, a
cure spell that washed over us and restored us. I stepped back allowing Lulu to take my place and she let
her doll jump from her arms and begin to dance in time to her weaving hands. Pearlescent balls of light
spun from her fingertips and surrounded Yunalesca's evil form, then exploded in white light.

Tidus shouted "I've got you!"

He ran forward and slashed at her, striking the tentacles that writhed around her body, jumping away each
tshe she retaliated and laughing as he cut her to shreds. That was it, Yunalesca's power faded, leaving only
the shadow of her previous human form.

"If I die, so does the Final Aeon. You've destroyed Spira's only hope."

Tidus wasn't willing to accept that. "We'll find a new hope."

"Fool! There is no other way. And even if there was, Yu Yevon would only create Sin anew."

"Yu Yevon?"

"Ah...Zaon, forgive me." With those words she was gone, only a b swi swirling of light remaining as it
drifted up and disappeared into the gloom above.

Yuna wavered on her feet, looking shell-shocked. "I can't believe what we just did."

Tidus shook his head. "Let's do something even more unbelievable. Destroy Sin without the Final Aeon. I
don't know how, yet...but we're going to find out."

This time it was my turn to shake my head. It was a leap of faith, but we'd made so many and they'd led us
this far. But Auron...I hung back as the others followed Yuna towards the door to the antechamber. I heard
Tidus speak first.

"Auron."

"We must talk. There is something you need to know."

"It's about you, right?"

"I am also an unsent."

"I kind of guessed. It was Yunalesca, wasn't it?" Tidus asked him, already knowing the answer. I turned
with tears in my eyes and watched as Auron admitted the truth.

"When Braska and Jecht died defeating Sin I couldn't accept it. I came back here. When I heard the truth
from her lips, that it was all a lie, I tried to avenge them..."

"She struck me down." He stared at the floor, as if marking the spot where his body had lain after her blow
felled him. "Somehow I made my way, crawling down Mt Gagazet. Then Kimahri found me. I told him
about Yuna...just before I died. I've been wandering ever since, never going to the farplane."

"Auron..."

"Don't make that face. Being dead has its advantages. I was able to go with Sin, to your Zanarkand."

"And you watched over me ever since then. Why? Why me?"

"It is difficult to explain. I will show you...my memories."

He knelt on the floor and I watched as several pyreflies escaped from his body. They swirled in the dusty
air, then I saw Jecht, standing several feet from Tidus, turning towards where Auron knelt on the floor.

"Can I ask you one last favour? Uh...nah, never mind. "O "Out with it!"

"Okay. Listen, take care of my son, in Zanarkand. He's such a crybaby, he needs someone there to hold his
hand, look after him. Take care of him for me."

"But how am I supposed to go to Zanarkand?"

"Hey, you said it yourself. There must be a way, right?"

"Alright, I will. I give you my word."

"Thanks, Auron. You were always such a stiff, but that's what I liked about you." I watched as Jecht
hugged his friend goodbye, an awkward embrace between two men who despite their differences had
eventually been united, both in their love for their summoner and their desire to defeat Sin.

The memory faded, leaving Auron kneeling there while Tidus gazed at him sorrowfully. "That is why."

Auron stood and began to walk towards me. Auron was dead, had been dead all along. I turned, and fled.

When we emerged from the dome Sin was there. It was silent and unmoving, watching us. Tidus ran
forward and shouted. "I know, the Final Aeon is gone. But I'll think of something! I promise, just give me a
little more time."

It was strange to imagine that such a loathsome creature was once human, was once a man named Jecht.
Even stranger that somewhere inside he could hear and understand, desire oblivion, and turn away at
Tidus's words to slink back into the ocean depths where he lurked. As the lumbering behemoth moved
away I saw a flash of light strike something bright in the sky beyond it.

"The aip!ip!" I waved at it. "Look! Look! They've come for us."

The ship landed and the cargo bay door opened. My father looked out from the doorway, his eyes taking in
Yuna, then scanning across our group until he saw me. I ran right into his arms and buried my face in his
chest.

"Rikku! Oui'na ymnekrd? Oui'na hud rind?

"Hu. E's veha." I reassured him. "I'm just so glad to see you, that's all."

"Well I'm glad to see you too. I was afraid we'd be too late."

He looked at Yuna, then the rest of our group as they went past us into the ship. Auron turned his face away
from me as he followed them. I felt my heart hit the soles of my shoes but by thee Ie I'd extricated myself
from my father's arms Auron had already disappeared into the bowels of the ship.

My father turned and hugged Yuna. "I'm so glad you're safe."

"Uncle."

"What happened? Did you fight Sin?"

"No, not yet. Tidus will explain...but, we need to come up with a plan."

"As long as it doesn't involve anyone dying, I'm all for it."

I smiled, trying to pretend his words didn't hurt. It was already too late to prevent that.

"Let's head on up to the bridge, you can tell me what's going on."

I trailed after them, feeling like a coward for avoiding Auron as I had. I didn't mean to, it just seemed easier
to let myself be carried away by events, instead of holding fast and facing him.

Now I'd let the opportunity slip, and I didn't see him again until we approached the bridge from the
corridor. He was leaning against the wall, affecting an unconcerned attitude as everyone filed past. Lulu
cast a quick glance at me then turned away hastily, grabbing Wakka's arm before he could stop and think
about what happened, taking him with her into the cabin.

Tidus looked at me for a moment then turned and followed the others. The door shut behind them and we
were alone. He was silent, and I looked at him, not sure what to say.

"You're dead." I blurted out. It was the first thing that came into my mind, and I was instantly sorry I said
it. His head turned away.

"Yes."

"How..."

"We'll talk later." He interrupted me and walked towards the door, then paused a step away, his head turned
as if listening for something.

"Wait..." I reached out, and tentatively touched his arm. He felt the same as he always had, warm and alive,
and I almost shook with relief. "You're not...a fiend."

"No. But sometimes I feel..." He shook his head slowly. "as if I am."

He walked forward leaving me standing there, so I followed him onto the bridge of the ship, to talk to my
father, and come up with a plan to defeat Sin.


End of Part Twenty-nine


Al Bhed translation:

Oui'na ymnekrd? Oui'na hud rind? = You're alright? You're not hurt?
Hu. E's veha. = No. I'm fine.


A/N: Fates Daughter: I did repost the earliest chapters at ff.net (before it got to the 'offending' content) I guess you must have missed the repost so I'm sorry about that. Anyway I hope you like the latest chapters. And thank you so much for the review, I was starting to wonder if anyone here was even reading it. (Which is pretty sad after posting 29 chapters.)

tua


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