Disclaimer: Again the characters as well as elements used in this story belong to NAMCO. I only own this story. Thank you and enjoy.
It is a full moon tonight, and Sheena was staring at the beautiful night sky as its rays were being reflected by the huge pond. Despite the beautiful scenery before her, it did not help ease the sadness that is now dwelling in her heart. Her attention too focused on her own thoughts as well as the golden bell in her hands as it shined at the moon’s light while letting out a gentle jingle.
“Seems like yesterday since I saw you again on that day, Corrine. Verius…”
It was right as they passed by the Temple of Martel in Sylvarant when she had sensed the faint but familiar presence of her long time friend, Corrine. A few members of their group accompanied her to the temple while others tended to business elsewhere. As they all ventured deeper into the old temple, the female ninja sensed the presence of a friend she presumed to be dead, and it grew stronger by the minute. She could hear some words of doubt from her accompanying comrades, but right now she wanted to prove that what she felt was real.
When they had all reached the deepest portion of the temple, all they had found before them was an empty altar. At that moment, Sheena felt herself riddled with sorrow as well as disappointment of her discovery. Colette, being the optimistic person that she was, tried to remain positive about the situation while speaking on the ninja’s behalf. Both of the Sage siblings seemed to disagree with the blond as they voiced their own unsure opinions on the situation. For Lloyd, he seemed to be too confused to give a response. Not that she could blame the guy, considering that she was about as clueless and confused about the situation as he was.
Right as the female ninja was about to dismiss the sadness that arose from her own heart, Corrine’s bell began to jingle higher than ever before. As its ring echoed throughout the area, the trinket floated from her hands and right to the altar. A bright light enveloped the area, and in the midst of it, a figure began to form on the platform. When the light dissipated, Sheena could have sworn that she was hallucinating, staring at a creature that was unlike anything she had ever seen.
The new arrival looked like a giant fox with golden, beautiful fur all over its body. Its four hind legs and tail tips seemed to be colored in blue, while the many tails in question were more colored and varied. The creature was regal and slim in comparison to most monsters that the group had seen in their travels. However, the thing about the entity before her was that it was almost identical to the one friend that had been with her since becoming a summoner.
“Corrine? Corrine, is that you?” Sheena spoke with a small fragment of hope embedded in her voice.
Then the creature in question spoke in a gentle tone that sounded female as its voice echoed throughout the room, “Sheena, descendant of those who control the powers of summoning. You, who showed me the human heart…”
Sheena seemed confused at the words, and she hesitantly said, “You’re…not Corrine?”
“Desire, generosity, laughter, sadness, anger, violence, concern, love, hate…”
“What the hell is it saying?” Lloyd asked, clearly confused with the creature’s speech.
“What will I ultimately gain from the human heart?” the creature asked whilst eyeing the group carefully. “I, Verius, pose this question upon you. Now, show me.”
Sheena was surprised by the creature’s declaration, and on instinct she along with the others prepared themselves. She heard Lloyd shout, “Here it comes!”
Time seemed to pass by as she and her group waited for the new Summon Spirit to do something. After a tense moment passed, the creature spoke again, in a gentle, unwavering, female tone, “I have felt your hearts. Anxiety, regret, impatience, loneliness…but even greater hope, courage, and love…”
Those words shocked the female ninja as well as probably everyone else in the group. She heard Lloyd ask from somewhere behind her, in a voice as confused as she felt, “…We’re not going to fight?”
“I exist to observe all beings that possess a heart. I form no pacts. I will be bound to no one,” Verius answered in a blunt, yet polite manner.
The female summoner was confused by this statement as she stared at the creature and spoke with a bit of confusion and hope in her voice, “You said your name was Verius…who are you?”
The new Summon Spirit spoke as it gave a gentle smile on its face, “Sheena. I am the one who was once known as Corrine. The Summon Spirit that’s had the longest contact with the human heart.”
“Contact with the human heart…” Sheena muttered to herself, wondering about the creature’s words.
“When my strength was fading, human hearts held onto me. All human emotion both negative and positive, changed me into the Summon Spirit of Heart, Verius.”
At those words, Sheena hope brightened up a bit more right when Lloyd voiced a question that was on her mind, “So you’re Corrine, right?!”
“Yes. Yes, you can say that. I am Corrine,” Verius answered as its gentle tone seemed to contain a bit of laughter, almost as if Lloyd’s enthusiasm had been amusing.
The female ninja never had felt so happy in her life right as she spoke, “We can be together again, right? You’ll come with me, right? Corrine…”
Verius cut off Sheena’s voice as it responded again with a somewhat sad and sympathetic tone, “No. I shall become part of the world and watch over all those that possess hearts.”
Sheena felt her heart deflate at words coming from her long time best friend, “No…”
She did not have time to feel sad for long, for Verius spoke again to her, “Sheena, descendant of summoners, I cannot go with you. However, my heart will be with you. For my existence as the Summon Spirit of Heart was established by touching your hearts.”
The ninja felt touched, in a way she had never experienced before. She repeated the soft words of Verius, willing them to become truth, “Our hearts…will be together…”
“Yes, they will as long as you…as long as people have hearts.” The Spirit spoke as it started to fade away. “I shall be with all people…and I shall continue to walk with you, Sheena.”
“As long as we have hearts?” Sheena muttered as she placed a hand over her own heart as Corrine, now Verius, disappeared from sight right before his last words.
“Never forget. Your promise with me is your heart.”
Sheena clutches the precious bell tighter in her hands as tears begin to trickle down her cheeks. The female ninja is so focused on Corrine’s bell that she fails to notice anything around her before a voice speaks, “Hey, Sheena, are you alright? It’s getting really late, and you should be getting to sleep real soon.”
The young female immediately tries to wipe away her tears while seeing Lloyd walking towards her. “I-I’m alright, L-Lloyd. J-Just feeling a b-bit down is all,” she responds with a sniffle while trying her best to sound like everything is perfectly fine.
The dark haired ninja can tell that the twin swordsman does not believe in her words, especially when he gently speaks, “Sheena, you don’t have to pretend with me, you know. You were thinking about what happened a few days ago, weren’t you?”
Sheena knows that Lloyd’s words are more like a statement than a question. In most cases, she would just wave it off as nothing in order to keep up the facade of her tough exterior. However, this time she just cannot keep her composure together as her tears seem to flow out of her eyes when she speaks.
“L-Lloyd, it’s j-just not fair! I-I mean, I-I’ve just barely g-got to see C-Corrine again after I-I thought th-that he was g-gone! B-But still I-I…!”
The female ninja cannot speak anymore, and tears continue to flow down her cheeks. She tries to pull herself together but fails miserably to contain the moisture flowing from her eyes. It is then that she feels two strong arms wrapping themselves around her in a hug. She breathes sharply as Lloyd pats her back in comfort. The summoner cannot help but weep into the embrace, and she wraps her own arms around Lloyd right as she covers her tearful face.
“Shh. It’s alright, Sheena. Just let it all out.” Sheena takes this moment to rest her head on her friend’s shoulder and cry properly as the brunette male spoke again. “Listen Sheena, I know that you still feel like that it’s your fault Corrine was struck by Volt, but you can’t keep blaming yourself for what’s happened. Just look back at what you’ve done for him. You were able to help him by being his friend. Not only that but he was able to come back to life as the Summon Spirit of Heart. And don’t forget, Sheena that you have a pact with him that could never be broken by anyone.”
At those words, Sheena stops her weeping long enough to look the swordsman straight in the eyes. From what she can see in his reddish brown irises, the young female ninja can tell that her friend is telling the truth. She gives Lloyd a happy smile, despite having tears still running down her flushed cheeks. It is good that no one, the red haired Chosen especially, is there to see this intimate moment between herself and the normally oblivious swordsman.
Supposing she pays more attention to her own surroundings, the female ninja would notice a familiar silhouette of a certain nine-tailed fox staring at the scene with a smile on its face.
A/N: This story is one that I’m very proud to have written. It was meant to be something of a Valentine’s special that was inspired by SKYWOLF666’s idea but it came too late. I had hoped that it would be enjoyable by others here in this blog. Thank you.
Maurice A. Nigma