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Year 8 of Braska's Calm

Day 1:  Choices
Day 20: Lady Ginnem?
Day 25: Chappu's Reaction
Day 26: Ginnem's Arrival
Day 27: Besaid Cloister
Day 29: Chappu's Goodbye
Day 30: To Kilika
Day 32: Kilika Island
Day 33: Concering Sin
Day 34: Luca
Day 35: Mi'hen Highroad
Day 39: Mushroom Rocks
Day 41: Djose Shore
Day 42: Djose Cloister
Day 43: Concerning Magic
Day 44: Bevelle Festival
Day 50: Still in Bevelle
Day 52: Macalania Forest
Day 54: Of Summoners Past
Day 56: Lake Macalania
Day 57: Macalania Temple

Final Fantasy X characters, setting, locations, and original images/screencaps of Spira © Square-Enix. Photomanips and this journal created by Helluin.

Day 52, 8th Year of Braska's Calm

It feels comfortable to be back on the pilgrimage, outside of walls and squares and the great city's arteries. I had not realized how much I was missing the living breath of trees and the drip of water.

Macalania Forest is breathtaking, if chilly. By day, the wood glistens with green and blue lichens and mosses, and everything seems to be coated in a glowing fog. Countless butterflies flit between the boles. At sunset a different world unfolds. Huge crystal trees shine in the darkness. Their fruits are giant golden-brown spheres radiant with iridescent colors that shine overhead like huge paper lanterns. Scattered pools pulse with raw energy, as if they, too, were partly composed of pyreflies. Strangest of all, when the moon rises, some of the fruit-pods exude wispy ribbons of pollen that are solid enough to bear weight, although they yield underfoot. I think they may be a form of pyreflies as well, like those that form the bodies of Fiends.

If traveller's tales prove true, tomorrow I may have my first taste of real snow. I tried to ask Kimahri what snow was like before I left, but all he said was, "Burns toes." I suppose he meant that it can deaden extremities; I've had a few accidents while trying to master cold spells.

Oh, I miss our stalwart Ronso, far more than I suspected I would. I miss all of them, of course. But Kimahri's blunt speech and trusty strength would be an especial comfort right now. I do not think that Besaid realizes what a treasure he is, how much they owe to his vigilance in keeping Fiends away from the village. I remember the days before he and Yuna came to us, when one had to go out with the Crusaders before dawn if one had business on the beach, and come back with them at sunset. I think he is worth ten Crusaders.

In lieu of a Ronso warrior, Ginnem and I have started to rely heavily on her Aeons. I will feel more secure once she has another. We've faced several dangerous run-ins with Fiends, including a Chimaera that singed both of us badly before Ifrit pounded it into oblivion. There's also a species of lizard that's fast enough to dodge the brunt of my spells; thank goodness Valefor is faster. My lady is quite spent from all the Summoning she did today. We've found a secure perch up in the trees, nestled in the broken shell of one of those great flowers, but I will not sleep easily tonight. In fact, I'm going to try not to sleep at all. Valefor is on watch with me. We can share Ginnem's shift.

These long nights, with the Aeons hovering overhead watchful and silent, I cannot help but wonder about them. What do they see? What are they thinking? Do they remember all their Summoners, all their journeys? They are eternal, yet paradoxically ephemeral. They seem sentient, yet they also seem like Fiends themselves. Perhaps that is what they are, exalted by Yevon instead of accursed by Sin.

(Macalania Pages from Djose Temple copy of Lady Lulu's Memoirs)

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