A trip to Ishval. Or rather the ruins of it. I didn't need this. Not right now. My heart and mind is in a very sensitive state right now. I don't need to be in a place where thousands of people died so brutally.
Hayden was with us. Us being me, Ed, Al, Elexa, and Ethsa. I had her to talk to. To record what I saw and felt without her freaking out like Ed. Ransom were with us. We needed some way to get over there. Ed and Al had their own rides and Ethsa was walking besides us. Elexa was sitting behind me on Corona's rump. We had plenty of water so we had no problem crossing the land.
Right ahead of me was Hayden on Ransom and Ethsa walking besides her. Ahead of them was Al awkwardly riding a stranger horse. And ahead of him, way ahead of him was Ed leading the way on another stranger horse.
He looked back at me from his spot in the line.
"You alright back there, Raven?" he shouted back at me. He caught me by surprise considering everybody had been silent and I was staring at Corona's mane. I looked up to see his deep topaz eyes far away from me, but coated with concern.
"Yeah," I shouted back. "I-I'm alright. It's fine back here."
"Are you sure?"
I nodded and flashed a smile at him. A fake smile. He bought it and turned back around. But then Hayden turned around with a suspicious look on her face.
"I'll tell you later," I mouthed at her. She nodded and turned back around. Al glanced back just for a quick second.
Corona stuttered a little in her walking to gain my attention. I looked down to see a big black eye staring up at me. I patted her neck and smiled at her.
"It's okay, girl. I'm fine," I whispered at her. She snorted and turned back to face the front. I turned my head to look at Elexa. She was sleeping. I gently patted her head and turned back to face the front. Just a couple more miles until we reach Ishval.
" I jumped again. It was Edward. Somehow he managed to sneak next to me without my knowing. "What's wrong?"
"It's nothing. Really," I said to him. Lies. I hate lying to him like this. It's just hard to talk to him about this kind of stuff. "I'm fine, Edward. Really."
" he whispered to me. Hayden and Al are way ahead of us by now, side by side and talking to each other so Ed didn't need to whisper. "Please
tell me what's wrong
"I'm fine, Edward."
"Raven." He managed to steer his horse in front of me and Corona and made us stop.
Whoa, buddy, I heard Corona speak to me in my mind. Warn us before you do that! I patted her neck and glared at Ed.
"You're not going any further until you tell me what's wrong," he said, glaring back at me. Corona and I tried to walk around him but he pushed his horse to stop us. "Please
"It's a personal problem, Edward," I told him. I wiped a small droplet of sweat off my forehead. We were wearing cloaks in order to block some heat from the Sun in this barren land but it did little help. "I'll be fine. I hope
" I whispered that last part. I guess he heard it though.
"Raven, please," he managed to scootch next me a little. "Please tell me. I'll understand."
Those eyes. Those damn eyes. I submitted as always when he gives me that damn look. I would do anything he tells me to when he looks at me like that.
"Fine," I said as I looked down, my face heating up a bit. "It has to do with
" I looked back up at him and he gave me that confused blink. Then his face lit up in realization.
" he sounded guilty. "It's too late to turn back
What are you worried about?"
"Places like that
A place with tons of tragedy is very vulnerable to imprinted memories and trapped spirits. I'm scared of what would happen to me. I've never been to a place with so much death at one time
He placed his hand on my shoulder. An action that instantly calmed me a little. "I understand
I think," he told me, smiling. "If anything happens, I'll help as much as I can. Okay?"
"The only thing you can do is be there
"Then so be it."
I smiled at him and nuzzled his hand that was still on my shoulder, blushing. He moved his face closer, slowly closing his eyes in the process. I eventually followed suit. Our lips touched for a little bit until-
"Hey, you guys!" we heard Hayden yell at us. I opened my eyes and moved back at least an inch away from his face. "Either hurry up or get a room!"
I blushed, naturally. Hayden and Al were so far away that we could barely see them. Either we were alone that long or they sped up. I'd put my money on the first one.
Ed sighed and pulled away from me, a reluctant look on his face. On our way back up to our siblings and Ethsa, we stayed side-by-side.
I felt better. Talking to Ed about what I was worried helped a little. And not to mention that kissing him took some of the weight off my shoulders. But I knew I still had much to worry about.
The rest of the trip was peaceful. All of us were talking and just having a good time. Or rather, a better time than before.
We finally reached Ishval or what is left of it. There were ruined buildings all over the place. Either ruined by age or by destruction. Just looking at them from a distance hurt me. Hayden and I looked at each other. She's stronger than I am at things like this. She's seen more tragedy. She's lived through more. Someone's terrible memory could hit her like a speeding car and she could remain standing. Shaking a little, maybe even tearing up, but still standing. Me on the other hand would be on the ground sobbing. Maybe standing, but still sobbing. I've never been around Ed when this happens so I'm more worried about his reaction.
Hayden smiled at me slightly and nodded. I smiled back. We're stronger together. Maybe this won't be that bad.
There was a small village as soon as we entered the region. At least it looked like a small village. Ishval is now just a region instead of a country as it once was. Just the area around it made me feel funny.
Ed looked at me and grinned. I blushed and smiled at him. He's so sweet, at least to me. I hate that he has gone through so much and will go through much more. I hate it. I hate it so much.
A person came out of a building, or rather a hut. He looked at us wide-eyed. Then he yelled at us.
"What do you want?!" he yelled at us, obviously angry.
"We're just here to look around," Ed said rather calmly. He hopped off his horse and started leading it into the village. The man from the hut saw Ed's pocket-watch chain and only grew angrier.
"Get out of here, alchemist! No one wants you here!"
"This isn't for the state. This is for personal research."
By that time Ed was walking past him and into the village. He was soon followed by Al, Hayden and Ransom, and Ethsa. I soon followed them and looked at the man with a sorry look on my face.
We pulled over to the side of the village and soon Al dismounted. Hayden dismounted too. But afterwards she staggered back a little and closed her eyes for a little. Al placed his hand on her shoulder. When she opened her eyes, she smiled up at him and then over at me. Ed was looking around so I didn't have to worry.
"How is it?" I asked her. I was not going to set my feet on the ground just yet.
" she said. She glanced at Ed. "Are you going to be okay? Do you want us to get his attention?"
I shook my head. "No," I said while preparing to dismount. "I-I kinda want to test him
"Okay," Al said glancing at Ed also. His back was turned and he didn't seem to hear any of our conversation. "Be careful, Raven."
I nodded and managed to conjure up a smile. Then I dismounted.
I was fine. At least for the first few minutes. I smiled at Al and Hayden and then picked up Elexa off Corona. I was really surprised. I still felt funny but that was all. I even wanted to go up to Ed and ask what was up.
But then it hit me. A gunshot rang through my ears that nobody else (but maybe Hayden) heard. I stood there, bracing myself for whatever was going to come next. More gunshots rang through my head. Some louder or softer than the others.
Then came the voices. Or rather screams and yells. I faintly heard Al move but then he stopped. I was staring at Ed's back, waiting for him to turn and find me like this.
My knees started buckling and shaking as my body grew weaker from this on-slot of noises. I then started to see faint figures. People running, falling
My mouth opened to form the word. I tried to push it out of my mouth as I gripped my head and started to sink to the ground. I called out his name, at least I tried to. It must have worked because he turned to look at me just as I closed my eyes and sank to my knees.
"Raven!" I heard him call as he ran to my side and tried to help me from lying completely on the ground. "What's wrong?!"
"I told you
this was going to be a problem
" I managed to choke out. I felt everyone come towards us. Elexa touched me and she helped my mind clear a little.
"Wha-What do I do?" Ed stuttered out.
"Just be here
" I said. He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. "Just hold me
He held me to his chest as my eyes started watering. I opened them to see everyone around me but the pictures were overlapping. I saw my loved ones, solid. But around them were figures, both Ishvalian and Amestrisian, replaying some or the worst or last moments of their lives. In my mind's eye, just over Ed's shoulder, a man was shot and killed by an unknown source. I gasped and stared at the spot as Ed tried to turn to see what I saw to no avail.
?" he asked. "What did you see?"
I shook my head. I didn't want to tell him. I closed my eyes once again. Hayden finally spoke up.
"It's the land," she said. "This ground is blood-soaked."
"Blood-soaked, huh?" I heard Ed say. "So it's the land itself? Not the area?"
I guess Hayden nodded.
"So when she gets in contact with the land, everything streams into her
" I heard Ed say over yet another blood-curdling scream. I was numb now. I could barely feel anything. As long as I keep my eyes closed, only the noises will reach me
for now. I faintly felt him wrap his arms around my waist and knees. I was lifted and everything went silent. Ed slowly stood up with me in his arms. There were no noises. No screams, no gunshots, nothing. Just the slight rustling of clothes as Ed shifted his and my weight. I opened my eyes to find my vision clear.
"Raven," he asked. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," I whispered. "I am now."
He smiled at me while Hayden spoke up.
"So he figured it out," she said, also smiling. "But the thing is you can't carry her for the rest of the 'trip'."
Ed opened his mouth for a comeback but Al interrupted.
"She's right," he said. "It's either you carry her or she stays on Corona for the rest of the trip."
"I'd rather carry her
No offense Corona," Ed said to her. He looked down at me. "Are you okay with that?"
" I started. "How are you going to rest?"
"I'll let you down on a chair, bed, or Corona."
"If I'm mentally prepared beforehand, you can set me down on the ground."
I'd rather carry you." When he said that, he blushed.
"Fine, but I would like to walk around on my own sometimes."
He smiled. "Deal." I heard Al and Hayden snicker as we started walking back into the main village to look for a place to camp down or some people for us to stay with.