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[[{{SUBST:A Bride's Resolve}}|   ]]
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The Women of Vana'diel
-#23 A Bride's Resolve-
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The Elvaan woman definitely said that refugees from Tavnazia had fled to a port town on the island of Elshimo, south of Mindartia.

Assuming that the young Hume who visited the armor shop was really from Tavnazia, he might be my brother.

It's possible that he escaped the carnage in Tavnazia and sought out his fellow refugees. But he didn't reach Windurst until ten years after the war. Where was he all that time?

A howling wind rose up behind me. Countless flower petals danced through the air like butterflies, only to scatter like a flurry of snow in the next instant. The world seemed a dream of fluttering pink dots.

But what of my father? If the young Hume was my brother, my father would have been with him...if they both survived.

"Was he with someone?" I asked the woman, as I passed the scarlet cloak back to her. She shook her head.

"There were probably other people-weople on the schooner that pulled into port that day, but he was the only one to pay a visitaru to the armor shop," she replied.

So it was exactly like my dream...

And suddenly I saw the continuation of the dream, a strange vision, as I walked along the pink carpet that covered the pier. I looked up to see a mirage of my father and brother shimmering through the swirl of flower petals.

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"A childhood friendy-wiend of mine is the captain of a cargo ship that sails outaru of Mhaura," she said, her voice drawing me back into the real world.

"Maybe he would be willing to helpy-welp you. In factaru, I'm sure he would!" she continued--when she realized that I had slipped out of my dream-like state.

I stared at the woman and let my newfound knowledge sink in. Her own eyes were locked on mine--I found myself unable to break from her earnest gaze.

"His boat docks in Windurst several times a month on a vegetable-wegetable run. I can'taru remember when he'll be back here, though. Or, instead of waiting here, you could go to meety-weet him in Mhaura," she explained.

This was all happening too fast; her enthusiasm was sweeping me away. I shut my eyes and forced myself to cool down and think.

What if I arrived at Elshimo Island, only to find that this man was not my brother after all? I would once again be face to face with the abyss of despair.

"I waited and waited for him for years and years," she said.

I opened my eyes when I realized that she was starting to weep.

"Every day, my heart was pounding and pounding harder and harder."

She pulled her hat down to hide her eyes. It was almost as if she were screwing her head into the hat.

"I waited and waited, but he never returny-wurned. It took me more than ten years to realize that he wasn'taru coming back. Everybody else knew," she sniffled.

I silently looked up to the sky, watching the last golden rays of sun peek through an opening in the clouds. I sighed.

"I'm leaving for Mhaura to see your captain friend. I think that both meeting you and having that dream were due to the hand of fate."

"Oh!" she exclaimed, then undid the plain scarf around her neck. She wrote on it with a quill she had pulled from her shoulder bag.

"Show this to the captain. I don'taru think he'll turn you away... Also, the boaty-woat is called the 'Kubira-Umbira,'" she explained.

It looked like a letter of introduction. I was pleased that she was putting so much effort into this, but the ink blurring on the surface of the scarf made it look like the scribbles of a child. I couldn't stifle a laugh.

"Thank you. Really," I said as she blushed full to the ears.

I took the scarf as she led me to the chocobo stable, where she spoke with the Elvaan stable hand and rented the fastest chocobo for me.

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But she cried out as I climbed into the polished saddle and took the reins:

"Waitaru!"

"Here. Could you return this giftaru to him...for me..."

She choked on her words as she offered me the scarlet cloak with both hands. Her only memento of that young man; she had kept it dear for so long...

"Oh. Of course I'll take it to him. I promise. But I have something to ask of you."

"Y-yes?" she stammered, as she stood on her tip-toes to look me in the eye.

"Be happy. Be the most beautiful bride Windurst has ever seen," I said.

She nodded her assent as tears streamed down her face.

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Taken from: Vana'diel Tribune Issue No. 23



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Women of Vana'diel
Chapters: 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | Epilogue
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