Gladio narrowed his eyes. "I'm not so sure it is."

The man fell silent as he approached Noctis and Sapphira. Once he took in their appearances, he grinned. "Aren't nursery rhymes curious things? Like this one: "From the deep, the Archaean calls... Yet on deaf ears, the gods' tongue falls, The King made to kneel, in pain, he crawls.""

Prompto sidestepped as the stranger directed his gaze to him. "So how do we keep him on his feet?"

"You need only heed the call. Visit the Archaean and hear his plea. I can take you."

The boys stepped away from the man as Sapphira kept her sharp glare on the man. She hadn't noticed their huddle until Noctis grabbed her arm and pulled her next to him. Prompto's eyes flicked between his friends. "We in?"

Noctis didn't like the idea, but he felt that they needed the man's assistance. "I don't know."

"We take a ride..."

"...but watch our backs," Gladio finished Prompto's sentence.

Ignis nodded. "Fair enough. What of your thoughts on the situation, Sapphira?"

Sapphira crosses her arms in disdain. "I don't trust him one bit. Warning bells are going off inside my head and they won't stop."

Noctis placed a reassuring hand on her arm. "I think all of us feel that way, but he must known something we don't. Let's do it."

The man smiles and begins walking toward the parking lot as he overheard their conversation and the agreement to tag along

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

The man smiles and begins walking toward the parking lot as he overheard their conversation and the agreement to tag along. "I'm not one to stand on ceremony, but such an occasion calls for an introduction. Please, call me "Ardyn"." Sapphira's eyes widened in fear at the familiar name. She froze completely as their unwanted companion continued to the parking lot without noticing her change in demeanor. The boys followed after Ardyn as he left the outlook. "Come with me to the car park. That's where I left my automobile. She's a dear old thing. Pales next to your Regalia, but she's never let me down. So we take two vehicles-a convoy of sorts. Shall we?"

Noctis realized Sapphira wasn't following them and turned back to the outlook. Seeing her frightened expression caused worry to rise in his chest. He went to her side and tried to snap her out of the fearful state. He poked her cheek, finally catching her attention. Sapphira's eyes fluttered as they met Noctis'. "Hey, you okay?"

"Um, yeah. Just... really not looking forward to this partnership." Sapphira bit her bottom lip and glanced at the ground. She placed her hands behind her back and dug her fingernails into her palm, which was a nervous tick when she was lying.

Noctis knew she was lying by just staring into her eyes. He didn't want to push her and dropped the subject. "Then, let's go."

Upon arriving at Ardyn's car, Noctis remained glue to Sapphira's side as the auburn-haired man glanced their way. "All set?"

Descendant of the Crystal (Final Fantasy XV)Where stories live. Discover now