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Walled dream

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It is a summoner’s privilege to retain private dreams, alone, far from the bonds of Aeons.

 

When Yunalesca dips into those shores, she walks by the sea until she has made her way back to the Northern coast of Zanarkand’s ruins, where her body lies in an approximation of slumber. She stands next to herself and breathes in an air of possibilities. An air of miracles. In her dream, Zanarkand – the real Zanarkand – stands like a lighthouse across the dark ocean. The wind draws a shiver on her skin and pushes her feet over the water’s surface. In her dream, she knows the water will sustain her and with the first tentative step she begins another pilgrimage, alone, across the waves.

 

(She has begun that journey in the waking world too, over and over treading on the cold sea, but her duties chain her to the ruins and every time she can only walk so far toward her heart’s desire.)

 

At the other end of the ocean the cruel city rises at last before her. Lady Yunalesca, first daughter of Yu Yevon, climbs the waves lapping against the docks like steps to her rightful palace. Zanarkand opens her streets to her wayward daughter and surrounds her with the unflinching warmth of its bright neon lights.

When she reaches her lord father at last and kneels before him, be proud, I did all you asked of me, and basks in his embrace, Yunalesca realizes with growing dread that Yu Yevon is only welcoming her with one arm. The other one points behind her, to the street she came from and to the sea beyond, and his face is severe. Then Yunalesca looks behind her shoulder and sees that in her journey she brought with her all the ills of the world, the trifles, the ugliness and the imperfections, staining her city in a jangling, clattering grand parade.

 

When she wakes up, surrounded by harsh twilight, Yunalesca thinks that she can see a faint light on the horizon, but it is soon carried away by the wind. There are only pyreflies here in Zanarkand.