While Rei wandered off with Lloyd, Cecil and Mashiro headed out to look for Alice in the other direction. Being alone, now after the break up with Kain had them both nervous, unsure what to say. In their distraction, they don’t notice the ground coming to an end beneath them and they both fall. Without even thinking, Cecil takes Mashiro in his arms to shield her from the impact with his body, but instead of the thorny bushes or sharp rocks they might have dreaded, they land in an idyllic flower garden, hidden away within the otherwise dark and somber forest. Realizing they are still holding on to each other, they start to pull away…then stop. As flower petals dance in the air around them, they look in to each other’s eyes and they realize that this is where they both belong and they lean in for the kiss.
Cecil is happier than he ever has been in his life, as a large weight lifts from his shoulders. They lie there on the flower bed, talking, until Cecil blissfully drifts off to sleep on Mashiro’s lap.
Fire all around him.
Horrified, Cecil looks around and sees houses burning all around him. He realize that it must be a dream, but he cannot break out from it. In fact, to his horror and surprise, he can barely do anything. Looking at his body, he sees that it’s back to what it was as a young boy. That’s when he realize where he is, the houses, the scenery…
“- Welcome home, Cecil.” he hears behind him.
Turning around, he see another boy, slightly older than himself, with a fresh burn mark on his face, a mark, he knew, he got while saving Cecil from the fires in their house. It was Kage, his older brother. Cecil merely stares at him, as memories that he had been suppressing for over a decade washes over him. His life with his family, and how it was taken away from him the day pirates came and burned it all down. His family died that day, including his brother, that’s what he thought but..
- “I survived”. Kage confirmed. He told Cecil about how he survived and how he spent the last decade searching for his brother, his family. He finally arrived at Durmstrang but only got there after Cecil had gone off to Eisenkrone. While there he prepared the city for Cecil’s return. Being a strong mindmender himself, he had taken over the city, controlling the minds of those in power and punishing anyone who had ever harmed Cecil growing up. Again, just like the time back in Dorfstadt, he asks Cecil to give up on the people of Eisenkrone. They will only hurt and betray him, the only people you can trust are family. Once again, Cecil is tempted, life at Eisenkrone has been rough and often unfair for him. But memories of Lloyd, The Military History Club, and most importantly, Mashiro, makes up his mind. The people at Eisenkrone is his family. Kage is hurt by this, and refuses to accept it, and leaves the dream with the parting message “Did you like your birthday present?”. But before being able to ask him what he meant, Kage is gone and Cecil is alone amongst the burning houses. As the fear begins to take hold once again, he hears someone calling for him. Following that voice, he is eventually able to escape and wakes up to Mashiro’s face. She apparently had tried to wake him for some time.
He immediately relaxes and they continue their talk from before, and they decide not to tell anyone about their new relationship, especially not due to the rumours spread by Kain. Their talk is interrupted though by a shriek. As they hear Alice’s voice they are reminded of why they went out to begin with. They charge out, following the sounds of commotion but they arrive too late. Alice is once again back in her pink frilly dress and Rei is busy grumpily stomping a rogue sock at the ground. Lloyd soon joins up with them, and he explains what happened, while avoiding any mentions of the unmentionables. They group up back at camp, rejoin their respective groups and since there is still time left, they head out for one final hunt.