The vanquished creatures had left behind the Harp of the Earth and the Rose of the Desert, artifacts that I recognized instantly, since that mysterious traveler from Kalm, the same one who had informed me of the existence of the famous island, was looking for them. to embark on a very important journey. Before giving these objects to the good man, I took them like a fool to the lake where Aeris rested, I imagine hoping for a miracle. But nothing happened.
Finally I handed over the harp and the rose to the traveler from Kalm, clinging to the hope that I would get some answer, that such incredibly hard-to-find items hid some hidden meaning. But again I was wrong. The man took the items, giving me chocobos, materials, weapons… none of that had any value to me! I was the strongest in the world! I didn’t need to be more powerful, I just needed to resurrect her, my love…”
Old Man Cloud’s body shuddered. He thought back to that turning point, when he was about to give up, to accept Aeris’s death. He re-imagined a future without her, in that world that no longer held anything for him. His little granddaughter snapped him out of his reverie.
And is the story over? But if the granny is alive! the girl protested.
Cloud snorted again, savoring again the aroma of reality, of what finally was. He continued his story.
“The story is not over, indeed. When I was most despondent, when even my Avalanche companions were suggesting that I abandon this impossible quest, that’s when I felt it. A kind of call, a spark. His voice, his face always smiling. Though it seems obvious now, back then, desperate as I was, I hadn’t stopped to think about who this stranger was searching for impossible objects in Kalm, or exactly where he intended to travel. Distraught I went back to his house, but he was gone. I asked around the town. He was talking out loud, gesticulating, going from here to there like a man possessed. Now I laugh, but some must have taken me for crazy, and I admit that rightly so. How to explain a feeling you have, even though all the evidence points to the contrary? Was he cheating on me? Or even worse, was he losing his mind?
Then I saw it, like a dream, as if it were something that only I could have recognized: the pollen of the Desert Rose, swaying in the wind. The distant notes of the Harp of the Earth, just a whisper…
I am sure that my destiny changed then. I went out with a swift step following those sensations, I crossed seas, mountains, I returned to travel the world. I no longer had colossal enemies to defeat, but my greatest rival was without a doubt despair. I couldn’t let it take over my heart, I had to follow those vain clues.
And I finally found it. Kalm’s so-called traveler was actually some kind of strange necromancer. Dressed in a black tunic, in an impossible clearing of a perpetual forest, he was there, next to Aeris’s body, under the dim light of a greenish fire.
Without a doubt, that man knew about me and also about Aeris, about her powers and her origin. That’s why he had asked me for the items! My despair exploded! However, he did not calculate that the same feeling would end up leading me even to him, at the end of the world.
The necromancer intended to perform a ritual, carefully prepared, to obtain the powers of the deceased girl, because do not forget that your grandmother belongs to the ancestral people of the “elders”. The moment I arrived could not have been more likely, because as I later learned, once the ritual was over, resurrection would have been impossible.
So I charged at the man like a wild beast, unleashing all my pent-up passions. The necromancer, in his quest for power, had given me impossible missions, but that had transformed me into the most powerful warrior in the world, who now stood up to him.
My surprise was great when I saw that my enemy laughed, with a disturbing air of superiority. Indeed, Ruby Weapon was not my toughest opponent, not even Emerald Weapon. No. That man had already accumulated enormous power, extracting it from other “elders” deceased before Aeris, profaned in dark rituals where he absorbed her very soul.
It was such an incredible contest that it cannot be narrated in words. It is clear to me now that the necromancer had underestimated the power of love, which not only led me to him, but allowed me to defeat him. When he faltered, just looking at Aeris’s body restored my resolve. He had one thing very clear: he would bring her back or die trying. There was no turning back.
After a fight that took forever, the man in black finally fell. The stolen souls of all the elders were released into the Empyrean. He deflated, drained of power, and lay prostrate on the ground, staring with trembling eyes.
I picked him up by the neck and ordered him to resurrect your grandmother, just like that, without detours or consideration. I refused to contemplate any other possibility, knowing deep down that this was my last hope. And so she did, through the forbidden practices of a forgotten cult. When Aeris finally reopened her clear eyes as lakes, to sketch his smile as sweet as ambrosia, he wasn’t sure if he was really awake. Finally, after so many adventures, my beloved had come back to life. I always felt like I could bring her back, and I did. She kissed her for the first time then, since she had never confessed my love to her before. Believe me when I tell you that that kiss, so sweet and authentic, so long awaited, immediately compensated me for all past calamities.
As for the necromancer… He no longer harbored that immense power, but he did retain the knowledge to one day retrieve it. Although from a cell in a very deep level of the prison of Midgar, it was going to be difficult. He may still be there, if he’s still alive.
And so it was that, after what seemed like an eternity of searching and false hope, I was finally able to… resurrect Aeris.
Right after the story was over, while the children were still staring at their grandfather, someone called for dinner from the other side of the door. As if they had forgotten everything in one breath, the little ones jumped up, running towards the table while shouting and playing. Cloud smiled again. He stayed a while longer in the chair, thoughtful before the fire. The smell of roast meat definitely rescued him from the past. Satisfied, he got up and crossed the threshold of the door. The room was empty and silent, except for the crackling of the flames in the fireplace.
Note: Art of Cloud and Aeris by Melis Ishida, you have more examples on her Pinterest account.