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a guest May 17th, 2019 33 Never
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  1. Part 1
  2.  
  3. I: Noct! What happened to you!? You’re hurt!
  4. N: ...Got into a fight with a classmate.
  5. I: What!?
  6. N: You can’t bully people!
  7. Boy: You think you can order me because you’re a prince!?
  8. N: That has nothing to do with it.
  9. Girl: I hate you! I’m not gonna talk to you anymore! I like Noct better!
  10. Boy: What are you laughing at!?
  11. N: I’m not! (Knock it off already!)
  12. Voices: Oh no! Your Highness!
  13. I: (One of the jealous pigtail-pulling types, I suppose.)
  14. I: (But…)
  15. I: Noct, you’re very compassionate.
  16. N: Mm. (Hehe.)
  17. [Back then, I didn’t understand what Noct’s title truly meant.]
  18.  
  19. A few days later…
  20.  
  21. I: Noct got grounded!? But why!?
  22. Uncle: His Highness must learn what his royal title entails.
  23. I: But it makes no sense! He did nothing wrong! (He didn’t even hit him back!)
  24. Uncle: Ignis. Correct conduct has very different meaning for an average person and for the royalty.
  25.  
  26. [beep]
  27. Voice: So you are saying he assaulted the prince?
  28. [Guardian’s Testimony]
  29. Woman: Yes! He’s always been a violent child. His Highness rebuked him for bullying that girl and he…
  30. (Citizens are outraged…)
  31. (It’s unacceptable that a child is allowed to assault the heir to the throne.)
  32. (Let’s hope the school provides the Prince appropriate counseling. The girl? She should change schools.)
  33. (I’d love to see his parents’ faces now.)
  34.  
  35. Uncle: His Highness is not just some child.
  36. [Traitor!] [Unforgivable!]
  37.  
  38. I: Noct… May I come in?
  39. I: Noct…
  40. I: Noct.
  41.  
  42.  
  43. N: Iggy!
  44. I: Noct! It’s not your fault.
  45. N: It is! He has to change schools now! People are coming to his house and sending his family death threats.
  46. N: Telling him to drop out of school for my sake! But I never wanted this!
  47. N: Iggy, what should I do?
  48. I: It’s okay... You did nothing wrong.
  49. I: It’s going to be alright…
  50.  
  51. [Adults made a big deal out of it. The country had only one prince, so many were angry.]
  52. [I thought if somebody told them that Noctis himself was against this outrage, that would be the end of it.]
  53. [I was a stupid child.]        
  54.  
  55. I: (It was his classmates’ guardians who leaked the story about Noctis’s assault to the media. If they knew how Noct feels about it…)  
  56. I: (That’s the woman from the interview!)
  57.  
  58.  
  59.  
  60. Woman 1: It worked out really well.
  61. Woman 2: Good riddance. He was bullying my son too. He hated him.  
  62. Woman 1: His family is rich. You just know they put him here just to brag that their son goes to the same school as the prince.
  63. Woman 1: ‘For the Prince’. What an amazingly convenient phrase. (I’m glad they chased him out.) (Oh, I know.)
  64. [I had never felt so angry.]
  65. [They used Noct.]
  66. [It had never occurred to me before that there were people who would use and abuse him and then use him as their shield.]
  67. I: Noct! How was the school? (You were gone for a week, after all.)
  68. N: Okay…
  69. I: What’s wrong? Did something happen?  
  70. N: The class had to decide what to do at the Culture Festival…
  71. I: And?  
  72. N: I was asked what I thought and I suggested a play. They went with that.
  73. I: Right, so…?
  74. N: Then they would ask me what play, who to cast and so on. And they agreed with everything I said.
  75. [If you say no to the Prince, you would have to leave the school.]
  76. N: I have no idea what I should’ve done.
  77.  
  78.  
  79.  
  80.  
  81.  
  82.  
  83. Part 2
  84.  
  85.  
  86.  
  87. [The idea that any word you say could destroy lives is unbelievably horrifying.]
  88. (Mom, I want that!) (No.)
  89. (I hate her!) (I know, honey.)
  90. [Noct stopped chatting like other children then. Carelessness and spontaneity was for others.]  
  91. I: I wish I could cheer him up somehow.
  92. I: (It’s summer. And it’s not dark when the moon is out.)  
  93. I: We went to a planetarium recently, but there must be something...  
  94. I: Got it!
  95. N: ...Fireflies?
  96.  
  97.  
  98. I: Yes! They look like flying stars! It’s really pretty!
  99. N: …
  100. I: (Guess not?)
  101. N: ...I’d like to see them.
  102. I: Alright! (Mission accomplished! I’ll have to ask Uncle for some security, car, and a permission to take the roads…)
  103. Scientia: Very well. But Ignis, you are still a child. It would be past your bedtime.  
  104. I: Whaat!? (But I’m a chamberlain!)
  105.  
  106.  
  107. I: His Majesty said I could go, but Uncle was adamant…I hope it cheers him up at least a little. (Bye-bye!)  
  108.  
  109.  
  110. Voice: There was an attack on the Fenestala Manor. Lady Sylva perished in the raid… King Regis and Lord Ravus barely managed to rescue Prince Noctis. I was told His Highness suffered no further injuries, but he sustained a shock...  
  111. [There were so many people who lost their lives or loved ones in the invasion.]
  112. I: Noct, welcome back…
  113. I: Noct…
  114. [Even Noctis was hurt.]
  115. [But the only thing I cared about was that he came back safely. I suppose I am not a good a person.]    
  116.  
  117.  
  118. I: Can’t sleep?
  119. N: ...No.
  120. I: Then let’s talk.
  121. N: ...About what?
  122. I: Well…
  123. [Noct clammed up and nobody knew what to say to him. They treated his heart like his swollen wounds - nobody dared to touch them too much.]
  124. [He was surrounded by people, yet he was completely alone.]  
  125.  
  126.  
  127. I: I tried making those Tenebraean pastries you told me about. I think this is the recipe.
  128. N: ...It’s different...  
  129. I: I see.
  130.  
  131.  
  132.  
  133. I: I’ll try again next time. Will you taste test for me?
  134. N: ...Sure.
  135. I: Thank you.
  136. N: ..Iggy, why are you thanking me? You did it for me, didn’t you?
  137. N: For me…
  138. N: For my sake...It was because of me that so many people died.
  139. N: Because I’m a prince? Because I’m the Chosen King?
  140. N: I was right there and I couldn’t save anyone. Fine Chosen King I make.
  141.  
  142.  
  143.  
  144. N: I should’ve died ther-
  145. I: No!
  146. N: I…
  147. N: ...I’m sorry.
  148. N: I owe so many people. I can’t say something like this.  
  149. N: I will become the Chosen King. I will work hard. I promised Luna, too.
  150. N: I will do it right.
  151.  
  152.  
  153. I: Stop that!
  154. I: Don’t try to carry the entire world on your shoulders!
  155. I: You don’t have to play a role before me. You can want things!
  156. I: You can tell me anything! I wish you did!
  157. N: You won’t get mad if it’s something selfish?
  158. I: Never.
  159. N: ...You won’t tell anyone?
  160. I: I won’t..  
  161.  
  162.  
  163.  
  164. N: ...Why was I chosen? So many people are hurting because of me.
  165. N: I wish…
  166. N: I wish I weren’t a prince.
  167. [We were just little children, but we both knew. He had no choice. His life had none of the freedom people take for granted. It didn’t matter what he wanted or didn’t want; fate clung to his small back and decreed that he would bear the chosen burden. No matter how heavy it got, he could never escape it. Pay for the blood that was shed in your name.]
  168. N: ...I want to see the stars.
  169.  
  170.  
  171.  
  172. I: The planetarium? I’ll ask Uncle and-
  173. N: No. I want to get out.
  174. [I thought he meant he wanted to run away.]
  175. [As his chamberlain, I was supposed to stop him. Make him realize how unacceptable the very idea of it was.]
  176. I: Noct…
  177.  
  178.  
  179.  
  180. I: Okay. I’ll go with you.
  181. I: I don’t know how far we will get, but…
  182. [It was a harebrained escape plan. Smuggle the prince in a food cart.]
  183. Servant: Hello, Ignis. Have you seen His Highness?
  184. I: He is resting, miss.
  185. [From the empty kitchen, we made our way through the Citadel’s back entrance. If we made it past the guard station, we would be out of the Citadel.]
  186. I: We’re in the range of the security cameras, though...  
  187. [It would be 10 minutes at best before the servant realized he was gone. You couldn’t see the stars without getting past the Wall, but I suspect it wasn’t the real stars that he wanted to see.]
  188.  
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  190.  
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  192.  
  193.  
  194.  
  195. Part 3
  196.  
  197.  
  198.  
  199.  
  200. [The gardens behind the Citadel were patrolled by guards, so it’s not like we were in any real danger. We were 500m away from the castle. In another 15 minutes, they would escort us back.]
  201. [Our escape lasted only 30 minutes. It was our secret and our night. And for that fleeting moment, there was no fate.]
  202.  
  203.  
  204.  
  205.  
  206.  
  207. N: The Citadel is beautiful at night.
  208.  
  209.  
  210.  
  211. N: Thanks. For coming with me.
  212. N: I was sure you’d say no.
  213. I: I have decided. I’m never going to leave you.
  214. [We would always be together. No matter what happened, I would always stand behind him. I wouldn't let anyone hurt him again.]
  215. [I would do anything for it.]
  216. Voice: Did you even consider the danger you were in? Taking the prince from the Citadel in the middle of the night!? His Highness insists it was all his idea, but it was your duty to stop him!
  217. [I didn’t care that they were yelling at me. It didn’t hurt me at all.]
  218.  
  219.  
  220.  
  221.  
  222. Man: Good grief! You are so easy to sway, the prince grows more spoilt and willful every day!  
  223. I: ...Excuse me? A child who is so worried about his busy father that he never even asks him to spend time with him is many things, but not spoiled.
  224. I: And we did consider the danger! We made sure the cameras saw us, went to a park we knew was guarded, and then waited for you to find us!  If the Citadel security is so lax they can’t even stop two children, then it’s your problem and not ours!
  225. Scientia: Enough, Ignis.
  226. Scientia: How many people do you think had to search for you because you snuck out? Moreover, do you have any idea how worried His Majesty was?
  227. Scientia: I am seriously considering dismissing you from your position.
  228.  
  229.  
  230.  
  231.  
  232. Scientia: You are grounded. Indefinitely.
  233. N: Iggy!
  234. Servant: Highness!
  235. N: Lord Scientia, I’m sorry! He didn’t do anything wrong, it was all my fault!
  236. N: Don’t send him away!
  237. I: Noct…
  238. Scientia: Ignis, come with me.
  239.  
  240.  
  241.  
  242.  
  243.  
  244.  
  245. [I never wanted to make him sad and yet it still happened.]
  246. Scientia: You were chosen as Prince Noctis’s chamberlain because His Majesty trusted you. You betrayed that trust and that is unacceptable.
  247. Scientia: You are a smart child, Ignis. There is no way you hadn’t thought this could happen.
  248. Scientia: You knew you duty. So why did you sneak out with him?
  249. I: I…
  250. I: I didn’t want him to be all alone.
  251. Scientia: ...Meaning?
  252. I: I’m the only one he ever asks for anything.
  253. Scientia: That’s a bit… (What a conceited thing to say.)
  254. I: You don‘t understand.
  255.  
  256.  
  257.  
  258.  
  259. I: It’s…
  260. I: Noctis’s whims are never seen as just that... It’s an order, a demand, or something.  
  261. I: Noctis knows the weight his words have, so he never asks for anything.
  262. I: But I don’t treat him like that, so he can ask me.
  263. I: If I refused him as a chamberlain…
  264. I: As a prince, he would understand. But he’d never… he‘d never ask anything of me like this again.
  265. I: And then he would truly be all alone...
  266. Scientia: ...I see. You wished to unburden His Highness.
  267.  
  268.  
  269.  
  270.  
  271.  
  272.  
  273. Scientia: Ignis. His Highness is deeply compassionate. And this is why your first priority should be to keep yourself safe.
  274. Scientia: If you were to be dismissed, do you realize how much he would blame himself?
  275. Scientia: Grow strong, Ignis. And wise.
  276. Scientia: {The next time you two feel like sneaking out, notify us in advance. You will have 30 minutes before we come to retrieve you.)
  277. I: (...Okay.)
  278. [If I wanted to protect Noct’s body, I would have become his Shield. But if I wanted to protect his compassionate heart, I had to keep myself and the people he loved safe. Simple physical training wouldn’t do. I wanted to become strong… Stronger than anyone.]
  279.  
  280.  
  281.  
  282.  
  283.  
  284.  
  285. [Noct]
  286. N: Ignis.
  287. N: Ignis, look!  What a catch!
  288. I: Impressive. Your persistence has paid off.
  289. G: (Yawn)
  290. G: Softy.
  291. [Noct]
  292. [So what?]
  293. [Noct]
  294. [Noct]
  295. [What’s wrong with that?]
  296.  
  297.  
  298.  
  299.  
  300.  
  301.  
  302.  
  303. [I don’t care if I get hurt. It won’t pain me at all.]
  304. [What pains me is the knowledge that it will torment Noct.]
  305. I: Let us end our journey here.
  306. [I am terrified that I am going to lose him.]
  307. G: It was for your sake that he go hurt-
  308. I: Enough, Gladio!
  309. [Please, don’t make him suffer more than he already is. Gods, I am begging you. I want nothing else.]
  310.  
  311.  
  312.  
  313.  
  314. [If his burden is too great, I will share it with him. Just don’t make him carry the weight of the world alone.]
  315. [Don’t leave me.]
  316. P: No way! You’re actually eating vegetables!
  317. N: Guess everybody has to grow up one day.
  318. G: Way to go, champ.
  319. [Please, come to me as you used to. Ask me.]
  320.  
  321.  
  322.  
  323.  
  324.  
  325. [This time, if you told me you wanted to escape it all, I’d make sure we did. The world can burn for all I care. We would run away somewhere, just the two of us.]
  326. N: Thanks, Ignis. For everything.
  327. [I won’t tell anyone. You can tell me the whole truth.]
  328. [I don’t need you to become a great king. Please, please, I just want you to live.]  
  329. [And if I can’t have that, then tell me…]
  330. [Tell me to stay by your side.]
  331. [In the end, he made sure that I didn’t.]
  332.  
  333.  
  334.  
  335.  
  336.  
  337.  
  338.  
  339.  
  340. N: Iggy!
  341. I: ...Welcome home, Noct…
  342. [The morning came and the world was delirious with joy. I couldn’t bring myself to care.]
  343. (The light!)
  344. [I could only think, over and over, if there was any way his death could have been avoided.]
  345. [If there had been any way to save him.]
  346.  
  347.  
  348.  
  349.  
  350. [If his fate had been sealed since the begging, unavoidable and inescapable]
  351. [Then I despise this world.]
  352. [But if there had been some way to change his fate and we made the wrong choice that drove him to his grave]
  353. [Then I despise myself.]
  354. I: There is no way out, is it… (How troubling.)
  355. [He told me to live and walk tall, yet here I am.]
  356. Voices: All hail the True King!
  357.  
  358.  
  359.  
  360.  
  361.  
  362. People: I’m so proud I fought for the King. The dead can finally rest in peace.
  363. People: Glory to the Lightbringer, who fulfilled his calling! All hail King Noctis!
  364. [‘For the King’. What an amazingly convenient phrase.]
  365. [At least they could say ‘for the world’. It wouldn't feel like such a dirty lie.]    
  366. [‘For the King’? More like ‘we killed the King to save ourselves’.]
  367. [...I know I am being unfair. It’s not their fault. Only…]
  368. News: We have confirmed an emergence of a radical faction in Tenebrae demanding independence from the old Empire. Clashes with security forces have already occured.
  369.  
  370.  
  371.  
  372.  
  373.  
  374.  
  375. News: Moving on, new information has been uncovered concerning the string of murders on the outskirts of Lestallum.
  376. [I can’t bring myself to believe this world was worth more than his life.]
  377. [And yet, he sacrificed everything to save it. In all its ugliness, all its beauty…]
  378. [He loved the world and I should protect what he gave his life to save…]      
  379. [I should… I must… But I….]
  380. [Does it mean I have to make my peace with it?]
  381.  
  382.  
  383.  
  384.  
  385. [Make my peace with the same world that stole you from me?]
  386.  
  387.  
  388.  
  389.  
  390.  
  391. I: Pryna?
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