A Calm After the Storm

Warrior of Light: Male<br />Warrior of Light: Male<br />Warrior of Light: Male<br />Warrior of Light: FemaleWarrior of Light: FemaleWarrior of Light: Female

Y'shtola closed her eyes, savoring the flavor and warmth of the tea. It had not been long since the great battle for Ala Mhigo's liberation, but in this moment of blessed respite, it might as well have been an age. The patisserie's unassuming tables and chairs were arranged along one of Limsa Lominsa's coiling decks, offering patrons a fine view of the Rhotano. Eschewing the pomp and ceremony of Limsa's more lauded establishments, it was favored among locals as a place for friends to spend a relaxing afternoon by the sea.

To look at her casually sipping tea, contentment writ upon her face, none would have guessed the trials Y'shtola had recently overcome. As she replaced her cup, a soft chuckle escaped her lips. Spread out before her was an assortment of mouthwatering treats, among them the patisserie's specialty: a rich vanilla tart laden with glistening jam and plump berries. Across the table, Alisaie raised a quizzical eyebrow as she popped another cookie into her mouth. Dusting off her fingers, she scanned the area for the invitees who had yet to arrive. Her eyes settled upon a familiar figure bounding towards them.

"Sorry I'm late!" Lyse exclaimed, breathless.

Y'shtola waved away the apology. "Yours was the longer journey. And we started without you."

With a happy sigh, Lyse flopped into a chair. She was once more dressed in the clothing she had worn during her sojourn in the Far East. This was their first meeting since she had announced her decision to remain in Gyr Abania to aid in rebuilding her homeland, and it was as if a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. After placing her order with the attending waitress, she turned to regard her friends fondly.

"Gods, it's good to see you!" After a short pause, she continued. "Is this all of us?"

"Krile regrettably cannot attend," Y'shtola explained. "She is in the midst of an important survey and said that she would content herself with a delivery. As for the Warrior of Light..."

Swallowing her cookie, Alisaie picked up where Y'shtola had trailed off, a hint of displeasure in her voice. "Oh, he's doubtless engaged in some heroic endeavor or other. He knows the time and place, though, and gave me no reason to believe he wouldn't come."

Lyse's smile was half amusement, half resignation. "The more things change, eh? He never could stay still for long."

Taking this as an invitation, Alisaie gave vent to her frustration. "Isn't that the truth! If he's not cheating death with his fellow adventurers, you can be sure he's off helping the beast tribes, or collecting tomestones, or regaling the children of Idyllshire with the tales of his exploits, or delivering something to someone. Honestly, I don't think he sleeps."

Nonplussed by her sudden flash of emotion, Y'shtola and Lyse glanced at one another before bursting out laughing. Alisaie glared at them, her face a picture of indignation.

"Forgive us," said Y'shtola with a twinkle in her eye. "We are but impressed by how closely you follow your hero's every act."

"What's that supposed to─ I simply asked him what manner of training he undertakes! For all the good it did me─none of it is anything I can reasonably emulate."

"Well, I for one wholeheartedly approve of your choice of role model," said Lyse, nodding sagely.

"You too, Lyse? Hmph. If you want to talk about an interesting choice of role model, you should look no further than my brother."

Bringing her fork to bear on her tart, Alisaie proceeded to recount her time in Yanxia...

While Lyse's party traveled to the Azim Steppe in search of Lord Hien, Alisaie and Alphinaud had remained at the House of the Fierce. During that time, her bookish brother had helped to solve the Liberation Front's frequent shortages with a brand of wisdom that could only be described as useful.

"When I asked what had prompted him to turn his mind to practical matters, he told me he had met a man who taught him much and more of 'the road,' and that he did not wish to seem idle should their paths chance to cross again. Naturally, he wouldn't say who this mystery man was─only that he saw him as a brother. As if I needed another brother to contend with..." Alisaie punctuated the statement by plunging her fork into her tart.

Lyse received the tale of Alphinaud's change with earnest interest, while Y'shtola, having an inkling as to this object of admiration, could only smile wryly. Being a man ungiven to sentiment, she knew, the knowledge that he was missed would do little to hasten his return.

The waitress appeared with Lyse's drink, a glass of lemonade made with honey lemons from Othard. The first sip made her eyes light up, and she followed it with a longer draft. Seeing Lyse's enjoyment took Y'shtola back to her earliest days in Limsa Lominsa, when she was just beginning to discover the city-state's renowned gastronomic culture. For all the culinary knowledge stored in Sharlayan's vast libraries, nothing could replicate the experience of enjoying a delicacy in its native land.

"So, how fare you, Lyse? Has the rebuilding effort begun in earnest?" Y'shtola's question snapped Lyse back to reality, and she lowered both gaze and glass.

"...Sort of. There's no end to the problems, and they're not the kind I can punch. Thinking was always Papalymo's department. I mean, I'm doing my best, but...well, things rarely go to plan." Absently, she ran a finger over the droplets on her glass. "I still catch myself wondering, what would Father do? What would Yda say? Why am I not like them? And I end up making myself depressed." Hearing her own words, Lyse tutted, and fixed Y'shtola with a determined stare. "But I won't give up. Not after everything it took to get this far."

Seeing the fire in Lyse's eyes, Y'shtola could not help but be reminded of Yda when she spoke of liberating her homeland, all those years ago... How proud she would have been.

Letting out a sigh, Alisaie placed a second slice of tart on Lyse's plate.

"But I haven't finished the─"

"You need to keep up your strength." Y'shtola declared, in a tone that brooked no argument. "We all know that working hard makes you hungry. As does being serious. As does thinking in circles."

Lyse's shoulders slumped. "Gods, I'm not that bad...am I?"

Y'shtola settled the matter by serving her another slice.

"Should you doubt yourself, do not hesitate to lean on those around you. Upon us. You have more than the memories of your family to call upon, Lyse. Remember that."

Thus reminded, Lyse found her smile again.


While attending to the contents of her well-populated plate, Lyse reported on the recent happenings in her life.

"I've made a new friend," she began, through a mouthful of tart. "A boy about my age, who used to be in the Resistance. He...mmm...knows everything there is to know about Ala Mhigan politics and history─all the stuff I'm hopeless with, basically. It's...mmm...actually thanks to him that I had time to come here today. He helped me dig up some old records on a mine I'd been searching for." She paused mid-chew, eyebrows furrowed. "But he has this queer habit of looking straight past me. I thought he might have a lazy eye at first, but no─he just won't meet my gaze. I don't know what to make of it."

"I expect he's daunted," Alisaie posited. "And small wonder. You're a hero."

Y'shtola rolled her eyes. "Children, children...must I spell it out? The boy is smitten with you."

Lyse greeted this revelation with a shower of crumbs, and no small amount of coughing.

"You're joking!" she finally managed.

"Yes. I am famed for my sense of humor," Y'shtola agreed, her face stony. “But were that not the case, you might entertain the thought. Unless, of course, your heart is already spoken for? The handsome young lord of Doma was of a similar age, was he not?"

"What, H-Hien!? No! I don't─ I mean, I admire him and all, but so do lots of people. And I might know someone who admires him especially."

Lyse's gaze floated off into the distance along with her thoughts. She said no more on the subject, and the others did not pry. As if to signal the end of her report, she gave her lemonade a hearty stir before narrowing her eyes at Y'shtola.

"What about you, Y'shtola? What do you think of, uh..." Lyse searched about for a suitable candidate, "Thancred, maybe? Or...one of the others?"

"I can honestly say that they have never crossed my mind. If you must know, however..."

At that moment, a memory came to her unbidden.

She was convalescing at the Rising Stones after her disastrous encounter with Zenos when her sister paid a visit. Though glad of her preservation, this latest brush with death had plainly come too soon after the Lifestream episode for Y'mhitra's liking, and she proceeded to rebuke her over the willful disregard she had shown for her own well-being. Her sister knew how dedicated she was to her chosen path, and would ordinarily have left it at a few stern words, but this time they burst forth as a torrent, knowing no cease until she sent Y'mhitra away, pleading weariness. It was then that her sister had wearily spoken the words...

"Is it not past time you found someone? Strong you may be, but how much stronger might you prove with another at your side?"

The words resounded in Y'shtola's mind as she drained her tea. Beyond the cup, she spied the other two leaning forward in ill-concealed anticipation. She flashed them a curt smile.

"Nay. Mayhap it is better that I keep my own counsel."

Lyse and Alisaie fell back with a groan and set about grumbling. Ignoring them, Y'shtola reached for the teapot. Her hand stopped short as her ears discerned familiar footfalls.

"'Twould seem our gathering is finally complete."

In unison, the three Scions turned to look. And sure enough, it was him─the Warrior of Light.

"So, shall we order more of everything?"

The afternoon was yet young.

Y'shtola closed her eyes, savoring the flavor and warmth of the tea. It had not been long since the great battle for Ala Mhigo's liberation, but in this moment of blessed respite, it might as well have been an age. The patisserie's unassuming tables and chairs were arranged along one of Limsa Lominsa's coiling decks, offering patrons a fine view of the Rhotano. Eschewing the pomp and ceremony of Limsa's more lauded establishments, it was favored among locals as a place for friends to spend a relaxing afternoon by the sea.

To look at her casually sipping tea, contentment writ upon her face, none would have guessed the trials Y'shtola had recently overcome. As she replaced her cup, a soft chuckle escaped her lips. Spread out before her was an assortment of mouthwatering treats, among them the patisserie's specialty: a rich vanilla tart laden with glistening jam and plump berries. Across the table, Alisaie raised a quizzical eyebrow as she popped another cookie into her mouth. Dusting off her fingers, she scanned the area for the invitees who had yet to arrive. Her eyes settled upon a familiar figure bounding towards them.

"Sorry I'm late!" Lyse exclaimed, breathless.

Y'shtola waved away the apology. "Yours was the longer journey. And we started without you."

With a happy sigh, Lyse flopped into a chair. She was once more dressed in the clothing she had worn during her sojourn in the Far East. This was their first meeting since she had announced her decision to remain in Gyr Abania to aid in rebuilding her homeland, and it was as if a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. After placing her order with the attending waitress, she turned to regard her friends fondly.

"Gods, it's good to see you!" After a short pause, she continued. "Is this all of us?"

"Krile regrettably cannot attend," Y'shtola explained. "She is in the midst of an important survey and said that she would content herself with a delivery. As for the Warrior of Light..."

Swallowing her cookie, Alisaie picked up where Y'shtola had trailed off, a hint of displeasure in her voice. "Oh, she's doubtless engaged in some heroic endeavor or other. She knows the time and place, though, and gave me no reason to believe she wouldn't come."

Lyse's smile was half amusement, half resignation. "The more things change, eh? She never could stay still for long."

Taking this as an invitation, Alisaie gave vent to her frustration. "Isn't that the truth! If she's not cheating death with her fellow adventurers, you can be sure she's off helping the beast tribes, or collecting tomestones, or regaling the children of Idyllshire with the tales of her exploits, or delivering something to someone. Honestly, I don't think she sleeps."

Nonplussed by her sudden flash of emotion, Y'shtola and Lyse glanced at one another before bursting out laughing. Alisaie glared at them, her face a picture of indignation.

"Forgive us," said Y'shtola with a twinkle in her eye. "We are but impressed by how closely you follow your hero's every act."

"What's that supposed to─ I simply asked her what manner of training she undertakes! For all the good it did me─none of it is anything I can reasonably emulate."

"Well, I for one wholeheartedly approve of your choice of role model," said Lyse, nodding sagely.

"You too, Lyse? Hmph. If you want to talk about an interesting choice of role model, you should look no further than my brother."

Bringing her fork to bear on her tart, Alisaie proceeded to recount her time in Yanxia...

While Lyse's party traveled to the Azim Steppe in search of Lord Hien, Alisaie and Alphinaud had remained at the House of the Fierce. During that time, her bookish brother had helped to solve the Liberation Front's frequent shortages with a brand of wisdom that could only be described as useful.

"When I asked what had prompted him to turn his mind to practical matters, he told me he had met a man who taught him much and more of 'the road,' and that he did not wish to seem idle should their paths chance to cross again. Naturally, he wouldn't say who this mystery man was─only that he saw him as a brother. As if I needed another brother to contend with..." Alisaie punctuated the statement by plunging her fork into her tart.

Lyse received the tale of Alphinaud's change with earnest interest, while Y'shtola, having an inkling as to this object of admiration, could only smile wryly. Being a man ungiven to sentiment, she knew, the knowledge that he was missed would do little to hasten his return.

The waitress appeared with Lyse's drink, a glass of lemonade made with honey lemons from Othard. The first sip made her eyes light up, and she followed it with a longer draft. Seeing Lyse's enjoyment took Y'shtola back to her earliest days in Limsa Lominsa, when she was just beginning to discover the city-state's renowned gastronomic culture. For all the culinary knowledge stored in Sharlayan's vast libraries, nothing could replicate the experience of enjoying a delicacy in its native land.

"So, how fare you, Lyse? Has the rebuilding effort begun in earnest?" Y'shtola's question snapped Lyse back to reality, and she lowered both gaze and glass.

"...Sort of. There's no end to the problems, and they're not the kind I can punch. Thinking was always Papalymo's department. I mean, I'm doing my best, but...well, things rarely go to plan." Absently, she ran a finger over the droplets on her glass. "I still catch myself wondering, what would Father do? What would Yda say? Why am I not like them? And I end up making myself depressed." Hearing her own words, Lyse tutted, and fixed Y'shtola with a determined stare. "But I won't give up. Not after everything it took to get this far."

Seeing the fire in Lyse's eyes, Y'shtola could not help but be reminded of Yda when she spoke of liberating her homeland, all those years ago... How proud she would have been.

Letting out a sigh, Alisaie placed a second slice of tart on Lyse's plate.

"But I haven't finished the─"

"You need to keep up your strength." Y'shtola declared, in a tone that brooked no argument. "We all know that working hard makes you hungry. As does being serious. As does thinking in circles."

Lyse's shoulders slumped. "Gods, I'm not that bad...am I?"

Y'shtola settled the matter by serving her another slice.

"Should you doubt yourself, do not hesitate to lean on those around you. Upon us. You have more than the memories of your family to call upon, Lyse. Remember that."

Thus reminded, Lyse found her smile again.


While attending to the contents of her well-populated plate, Lyse reported on the recent happenings in her life.

"I've made a new friend," she began, through a mouthful of tart. "A boy about my age, who used to be in the Resistance. He...mmm...knows everything there is to know about Ala Mhigan politics and history─all the stuff I'm hopeless with, basically. It's...mmm...actually thanks to him that I had time to come here today. He helped me dig up some old records on a mine I'd been searching for." She paused mid-chew, eyebrows furrowed. "But he has this queer habit of looking straight past me. I thought he might have a lazy eye at first, but no─he just won't meet my gaze. I don't know what to make of it."

"I expect he's daunted," Alisaie posited. "And small wonder. You're a hero."

Y'shtola rolled her eyes. "Children, children...must I spell it out? The boy is smitten with you."

Lyse greeted this revelation with a shower of crumbs, and no small amount of coughing.

"You're joking!" she finally managed.

"Yes. I am famed for my sense of humor," Y'shtola agreed, her face stony. “But were that not the case, you might entertain the thought. Unless, of course, your heart is already spoken for? The handsome young lord of Doma was of a similar age, was he not?"

"What, H-Hien!? No! I don't─ I mean, I admire him and all, but so do lots of people. And I might know someone who admires him especially."

Lyse's gaze floated off into the distance along with her thoughts. She said no more on the subject, and the others did not pry. As if to signal the end of her report, she gave her lemonade a hearty stir before narrowing her eyes at Y'shtola.

"What about you, Y'shtola? What do you think of, uh..." Lyse searched about for a suitable candidate, "Thancred, maybe? Or...one of the others?"

"I can honestly say that they have never crossed my mind. If you must know, however..."

At that moment, a memory came to her unbidden.

She was convalescing at the Rising Stones after her disastrous encounter with Zenos when her sister paid a visit. Though glad of her preservation, this latest brush with death had plainly come too soon after the Lifestream episode for Y'mhitra's liking, and she proceeded to rebuke her over the willful disregard she had shown for her own well-being. Her sister knew how dedicated she was to her chosen path, and would ordinarily have left it at a few stern words, but this time they burst forth as a torrent, knowing no cease until she sent Y'mhitra away, pleading weariness. It was then that her sister had wearily spoken the words...

"Is it not past time you found someone? Strong you may be, but how much stronger might you prove with another at your side?"

The words resounded in Y'shtola's mind as she drained her tea. Beyond the cup, she spied the other two leaning forward in ill-concealed anticipation. She flashed them a curt smile.

"Nay. Mayhap it is better that I keep my own counsel."

Lyse and Alisaie fell back with a groan and set about grumbling. Ignoring them, Y'shtola reached for the teapot. Her hand stopped short as her ears discerned familiar footfalls.

"'Twould seem our gathering is finally complete."

In unison, the three Scions turned to look. And sure enough, it was her─the Warrior of Light.

"So, shall we order more of everything?"

The afternoon was yet young.

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