“I am willing to give you his body and soul in exchange for his power. The moogle took a dagger out of a mahogany box and handed it to me. You must pierce his heart threw his back and let his blood spill down the hilt onto your hands. Return the dagger to me and he is free.” she instructed.
“How do I know it won’t kill him?” I asked.
“Well I guess you will have to trust me. He won’t die today. I never lie. It’s like a fresh clean slate to start a new life. With time he can be just as powerful and famous as before if he is willing to work at it and most importantly he will be completely freed from his contract with me. A win win situation really. I keep his power and possessions and he gets his life and freedom. What is there to decide? I guess I could keep him for our agreed upon eternity but hey, how many people do you know who get to live that long? Maybe you should leave him with me.” Ursula grinned.
I clutched the dagger tightly and lunged at the moogle but I didn’t get far. She froze me in my tracks. It felt like I was encapsulated in stone unable to move an inch and struggling to breathe.
“Oh come on, we already did this. You can’t hurt me. Do we have a deal or not?” Moogle said looking a bit irritated.
She released me and my arm fell to my side. I clutched the dagger knowing that I had no choice. This enemy could not be defeated. She legally owned Orabu by his own decisions and she was too powerful to be forced her to release him.
Orabu just stood there where he had been all along, expressionless and blank. Tears welled up in my eyes and I prayed that he would forgive me. Standing behind him I thrust the dagger into his back piercing his heart. Orabu cried out in pain and his knees buckled. I grasped one arm around his waist to steady him as his blood ran down my hands. As I pulled the dagger out of the wound it healed over leaving a silver scar on his shoulder. Sliding the bloody blade across the room I crumpled on the floor with Orabu in my lap.
“It’s done.” I said solemnly as I pushed his long hair away from his eyes.
The moogle picked up the dagger and it crumbled into a pile of ash. She had absorbed all his power and experience. No wonder she was so strong. I can only imagine how many lives she had stolen with her deceitful deals.
“Alison,” he whispered as he looked up to me with a ghost pale face. “What have you done?”
I just held him and sobbed. “Please forgive me. There was no other way.”
Ursula raised our party and they sat up in stunned silence to see me holding Orabu and weeping.
In a flash we were all teleported to Port Jeuno. It was over.
For days after we got home some of our party members still felt the effect of the run in with the moogle witch. I can only imagine what she whispered in their ears that haunted them. To let someone so powerful know your heart’s deepest desire is a dangerous thing.
I’m not sure exactly what happened to Ursula but after we told our story to our personal moogles they assured us that it would be handled internally and no adventure would ever be tempted by her schemes again. They all left for a few hours and came back saying it was taken care of.
I can only imagine what Beldin had secretly been through but it was unnerving to catch him crying in Whitegate near the port the night we got back from Castle Zvahl Baileys when he thought he was finally alone.
“Beldin, what’s wrong?” I asked quietly as I put my hand on his shoulder.
“Allergies.” Beldin smiled without even turning to look who asked the question. “I’m allergic to… um…” He looked up at the moon as he paused to think, “Full moons. Blasted thing makes my eyes itch every month.
“Is this about the witch? She spoke to me too but she seemed especially interested in you.” I asked cautiously.
After what felt like an eternal silence as we watched the ships come and go he looked down and overflowed with emotion, “I had a wife and a son. She forced the images of their death in my head again and offered to reunite us. That’s impossible isn’t it? The past can not be changed and the dead can not be made whole again. I hate that I felt so helpless to stop her. I’m pissed that the moogles got to Ursula before I had a chance to go back and jam my spear into her black heart and crush her body to a messy pulp.”
He paused for a moment and continued, “But this pain is nothing new. I just needed a night to allow myself to feel again before I hide it back away. I’ll be back to my old charming self that you love by morning.” He looked down at me and gave me one of his Beldin grins even as he let the tears run down his face.
There was nothing I could say. I couldn’t pretend to know how he felt. I just smiled softly to acknowledge his weak attempt at reassuring me he was ok. I linked my arm with his and squeezed tightly. It didn’t feel right to let him be alone on a night like that even if all I could do was stand in silence with him while the “allergies” got the better of us.
Orabu couldn’t forgive me. Our friendship was never the same. From that day forward he called himself Ubaro, a new name for a new life. He didn’t give up on adventuring. He has not reached his former glory as a level 75 adventure known world wide for great deeds but I do not doubt he will again some day.
Sadly after months struggling to heal the hurt Ubaro and I decided it was best to part ways. Every time he saw me he thought of the agony of the loss of his life and it tore me apart to have him look at me that way. Ubaro left the linkshell to find a new path. He was a mentor and a friend and I respect and love him deeply still but to me it feels like Obaru is dead and Ubaro is a stranger. From time to time I do pass him in my travels and wonder if he can ever really forgive me.
Image of Ubaro and Martin putting on a concert after the start of his new life but before we parted ways.