Author's Notes: Much work with Anney on this, and got much help too! It's starting to develop nicely. and many thanks to laughingwolf for doing the beta and giving me more side story notes!
I usually have meetings to go to on almost any given day, however, today was one day I would have given my left arm to reschedule them all, just to listen to Lady Edea talk.
I know that I treated her harshly, and I tried to make it up to her. However, I'm not sure how much damage I've done.
Lately, the relationships between the Sorcery Guild and the Gardens has been fragile and I wanted to be there to show that at least Balamb Garden was supportive. I also, had a few questions of my own to ask, but unfortunately, I really had to keep my meeting with President Laguna Loire and help him with some aspects of Esthar's Garden.
I left things in Zell and Quistis's more than capable hands and left.
The lecture hall was quickly turned into a makeshift conference room. Usually, with conference rooms, everyone is sitting at a table, not everyone staring at me.
I needed the Garden's help more than ever. I needed to find a Knight for Seifer and quickly.
Zell and Seifer told me what happened last night with Rinoa.
I never would have thought she would have gotten so powerful so quickly.
I know her mind must be fighting with the power that's going through her. It's not easy on a Carrier Sorceress to be able to handle so much power without a Knight to stabilize her.
That, amongst other things is the reason why this impromptu conference had been called. I needed to explain to those, who could possibly give the most help, what was going on.
I looked into the faces of those seated before me and wondered how they will be affected by what's happening. There are a few I don't know, and a few I do.
Commander Leonhart told me to start without him, as I quickly briefed him about what the conference would be about. Apparently that was fine, since he had business to attend somewhere else.
A few students wandered in and found a seat and I began to wonder if this would turn into a huge production. I didn't know that students would be involved as well.
I turned my attentions to Quistis to ask, as she headed my way, smiling lightly.
"I can see you're worried about the students who just came in, but they requested it, as they are also part of the Sorcery Guild. I hope you don't mind... you are a bit famous to them, aside from the Sorceresses from the Sorceresses Wars."
I was flattered and a bit stunned. I didn't know how I was famous. I didn't fight in any wars, I just lived my life, however since they requested, I would allow it.
I sat in a stunned silence waiting for things to calm down and stop being surreal.
However, that would have to wait for a later date.
Zell piped up and told everyone to quiet down and that we would be starting shortly.
The room went silent and I knew it was time to start.
I haven't been in front of so many people since I was in front of the Sorcery Guild, but that was a different time.
"Hello Balamb Garden Instructors, and students who have gathered. Today, I plead with you, in help of finding a Knight for my Sorcerer. His powers have begun to grow quickly and we have found that he has begun to come under attack by another."
A hand shot up. I didn't think the questions would have started so soon.
"Lady Edea, you are being vague, if we are to help you in any way, we need to know more about what's happening, and what has happened."
I sigh. The young boy is right, I've left too much out, trying to protect Seifer, but I guess they need to know more in order to help.
"I'm sorry. I was trying to protect him, but you are too right. I should be willing to tell you the full truth, in order to get the best help possible. However, I will let him tell it, as it is his story after all. And afterwards, if you have any questions, please let us know."
Another hand shot up. I nodded for them to go on.
"A Sorcerer? I'm sorry, as in a male?"
At that time Seifer stood up and came forward.
"Yes, a male Sorcerer."
I made my voice heard over the rising din, the disbelief thick in the air. "Yes, it does happen, but it is rare. I have read the article as well, and I don't doubt Dr. Odine's work for a moment. And Seifer is here, and I can vouch for his powers."
The room quieted down and all eyes were on Seifer.
"I haven't read the paper yet, but here I stand. May I tell my story?"
I listened as Seifer told what happened to him, wiping at tears fiercely as he recalled the rape and the amount of power Rinoa held over him, the cold burning anger simmering under the surface when he told them of how she invaded his mind. My tall blonde Sorcerer wiped at his eyes once more, sighing deeply and looking towards the ceiling. He looked to the room of people and spoke, "please, I beg of you, help me. I don't want this from her, and I don't want her to do this to anyone else! I don't know everything of what's happening, or how Knights fully work, but I can't take any more from her. Zell and his GF Laru helped me through one night... but it would be unfair to ask that of them for longer. That is why we are asking you for help."
I was proud of him.
I smiled at him and turned back to the group assembled. "Any questions?"
A few hands went up. I nodded to the first one, "yes?"
"Rinoa, is she a Carrier Sorceress? And why does she not have a Knight yet?"
"She is a Carrier Sorceress, however, when I took her under my wing for training, she had enough magic in her, that I thought she was a Natural. However, I was wrong. She doesn't have a Knight because she left before I could send her to the Sorcery Guild for a Knight."
Seifer stepped in at that moment, "She also had her own plans. I think that she knew she was a Carrier, and knew that she wanted more magic, or someone told her. She mentioned something about how the feeling was intense and that she would kill to get it again. This is more than just me needing a Knight; this is the rest of the Sorcery community being in danger. We need to put a stop to her madness!"
An Instructor stood up, "So, there is a crazed Sorceress out there, on the loose, killing for the sheer pleasure of it? If Commander Leonhart was here, he would be setting up meetings to have the ASA put into effect!"
Zell stood up and faced the room, "No, actually he wouldn't. It was something we talked about before he left for his meeting. That is something Balamb Garden would like to avoid, as would the other Gardens. If we can do this on our own, and take her out then we don't need to put the ASA into effect, which is something that I'm sure all members of the Sorcery Guild and every other Sorceress out there would like to avoid as well."
Seifer put his hand up, "I'm sorry, as being with Lady Edea, I've been sheltered from the ASA and the Sorcery Guild. I know bare minimum, that the Gardens are suppose to help against mad Sorceresses... can someone please explain a bit more to me?"
The Instructor sat back down, a look of bordering shock on his face, from what I wasn't too sure.
Quistis stood, tucking her long blonde hair behind her ears, "I'll field this one. The ASA is an act that was put together by the leaders of the world and the Gardens. It is to be put into effect to put a halt to unruly, mad or power hungry sorceresses. There is a rule that there must be 20 of the 26 members must come to an agreement that the ASA must go forward. There are also different levels of actions that could be taken, depending on how bad things can get. But the punishment is the sealing of powers, much like what happened with Sorceress Adel." The tall blonde woman sighed, "Of course, we don't want to have to do any of it. I'm sure that there could be so many repercussions of just a Level One being in effect, not to mention that things could end up snow-balling out of control."
Seifer nodded in agreement, then asked, "Do you have a copy that I could look over quickly?"
Zell handed a paper over. Seifer's green eyes flitted over the paper, a frown marring his brow.
I looked up to see the other cadet's hand still in the air. I smiled, "I'm sorry. Please, ask."
"Seifer, is he a Natural or a Carrier? I only ask, because of the level of difference between the two and their need for help from a Knight."
Seifer looked up from the copy of the ASA and frowned more. "Before she answers, would you mind waiting till I'm done reading? I would love to hear more, but I want to finish this... This is very scary information."
The dark haired cadet nodded and sat back down.
Seifer quickly finished reading and sighed. "Wow. That's a lot of power the ASA holds. I'm sorry, Lady Edea, please, answer the cadet's question."
I nodded at Seifer. "Seifer is a Natural. And we already know that Rinoa is a Carrier." I could see a look of confusion on Seifer's face, and knew that I would need to explain more. I told him so little, and his ignorance is mostly my fault. I know we discussed some on the road back to Balamb, but not enough. I should have taught him more, but I wanted him to learn everything I knew, in-case something happened to me. I never thought something like this would happen.
"Natural Sorceress have had magic flowing through their body since they were young, so their bodies are used to the magic constantly flowing. When they reach puberty, the inherent magic fully comes out, and since they have had magic through them, the shock is lessened.
However, with Carriers, when they reach puberty, they don't get magic. If they had any from when they were younger, it might be a bit more powerful, but they don't get any new powers. They get powers when someone dies. And because this is a shock to the body, a Carrier needs a Knight there to help balance the amount of new powers. If there is no Knight, madness can and usually begins to start in.
I believe that if a Carrier Sorceress finds a Knight who is a Natural Sorcerer the madness won't affect her as much, not to mention the power being, I believe a hundred fold."
I could see the wheels in Seifer's mind turning and waited for his response.
"So, if she were to get me to be her Knight, she would have an incredible amount of power... how would that effect me, if I ended up being her Knight?"
A young cadet with bright red hair stood up, "May I field this? I want to make sure that I've understood the paper correctly."
Seifer and I both nodded our agreement.
"If you were to end up becoming her Knight, the power flow of magic and power should be accessible to you as well, however, the cases of a Carrier Sorceress having a Natural Sorcerer as a Knight the power would be, as Lady Edea said, one hundred fold, or more, but to my knowledge there has been no records of such a combination." The young cadet looked to her Instructor who nodded in agreement. She sat down with a pensive look on her face.
Seifer swallowed and hesitantly asked the group gathered there, "And how does one become a Knight?"
Quistis again walked forward, "Normally, one goes through training, at one of the Gardens, and then there are numerous tests done to best match the Knight to the Sorceress, however there are cases where someone just being at the right spot at the right moment have been good enough."
Seifer nodded and whispered out, "Yes, but the initial actions of becoming a Knight? How does that work?"
Quistis swallowed, I could tell she was nervous and didn't want to answer. Part of me didn't want her to answer either, but she did.
"As said in Chloe Zerbma's findings with Dr. Odine, the three things needed are; the body, which would normally be sex. The soul, which is usually gained from the intimate experience of the sexual union, and finally blood. The last, well, not a lot is needed and it's usually what seals it."
"And if one was raped? How does that affect it?"
Everyone in the room looked away from Seifer, they looked at the floor, the desks in front of them, the ceiling, just not at the tall blonde man at the front of the room.
There was a noise of papers being rifled through and the young red haired cadet stood up again. "If I may read from the article that was written by Chloe Zerbma, with help from Dr. Odine's work... " She looked at me, her eyes clouded by sadness. I nodded to her that it was all right and placed a hand on Seifer's shoulder as the cadet cleared her throat.
"Rape- a force of will in a sexual nature, upon a possible candidate for a knight, would be damaging. If one member of the party rapes the other, they gain a hold on the other party. Since rape is such a violent act, it is usually damaging emotionally, which is part of the soul. This would usually be understood as having 'two of the three' needed for becoming or having a knight.
When a person goes through rape, they build a wall against it happening again, in some form. If rape is done, the knight or sorceress, or whoever was raped, will inadvertently fight against the other member of the party."
Quistis stood and thanked the cadet. "You see we need to begin the search for a Knight. Seifer would already have two marks, and there is no doubt Rinoa will be trying to gain the third. For now, he is safe here in the Garden, but the need for him to get proper training and a Knight is crucial."
"Instructor, may I get some training while I'm here?" Seifer asked cautiously.
Quistis turned and looked at him, eyes wide and thoughtful. "Why yes you could. I never thought of that. Balamb could teach you some. We are the Garden of Magic!"
Zell thanked and dismissed the Instructors and students, then turned back to the conversation.
Seifer blinked at her for a moment. "Garden of Magic?"
Quistis laughed, "I'm sorry, I'll explain. The Gardens all have some sort of specialty. Esthar Garden, which is the newest facility, it is the starting for cadets. It holds two things, the start of training, letting the cadets pick what they might want to specialize in, which would lead to the other Gardens. It also looks for young cadets that might have Sorcery or would be interested in dealing with Sorcery in some form; they would also work more with the Sorcery Guild.
Balamb Garden deals more with magic, GFs, with a good backing of physical training. We also teach strategic tactics as well. Our Garden is the only one that has the SeeD program.
Galbadia Garden is more physical. They don't use GFs and have found other ways to use magic, if they use it at all. They teach strategy and tactics quite heavily as well as negotiations. Galbadia also recruits their students to the Galbadian army.
Trabia Garden teaches more of an electronics and technology type of fields, with a background of physical and magic."
"Oh, I thought if you wanted to you could just go to whatever Garden was closest to you."
"Yes, you can do that, and transfer later. With Esthar Garden up and running now, we're trying to get new cadets there first, however, certain Gardens offer certain things. Now, we should talk of plans and training, don't you agree?"
The five sat and talked over potential plans and things to come, and fears for the future.
I woke from the loveliest dream. I had Seifer at my side and we did such wonderful things with the world! It was so beautiful that words can't describe it! My mind is still a bit fuzzy from waking, but that's okay, it'll clear soon.
I know how to make it happen too!
The wind told me. The voices in the wind told me what I have to do. I'll have Seifer at my side and we will rule!
I know I read somewhere that if a Sorceress ends up getting too much power that she might start to go insane. That might be happening to me, which is all the more reason I need my Knight. I hope that I'm hearing someone, rather than voices in my head...
I need to get going! I have to catch the train to... that place, I can't remember right now, but I'm sure once I see the signs I'll remember.
The wind told me that I needed to get the body, and that they were in a laboratory.
I hope that it's not too hard to get to them.
Nothing will stop me! I'm determined to do this!
I leave the quietness of my little house. I feel bad for the woman who used to live there. I think that I might have killed her, but I can't find the body, so I think its okay.
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