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Chapter 16 - Vol 4: One Time

Within the halls of Dissidia Academy, life as a student is an adventure! Follow the Heroes of Final Fantasy as they fulfill the variety of challenges that lie before them, setting the path towards their future! However, underneath the depths of this highly established Academy ... lies a darkness that may throw the entire world into chaos.

Chapter 16 - Vol 4: One Time

Chapter 16 - Vol 4: One Time
Onion Knight and Terra Branford stood and watched in silence as their next objective stepped up to the table, eyes locked ready for battle.
Squall Leonhart, emotionless and set to challenge, refused to glance away. He knew the purpose of this meeting; he knew why he was there.
The three, as though they were in sync, sat on the designated table, continuing their silence. It was now a question of who would speak first, and where the conversation will go. They were in a café, surrounded by spectators of variety. Students, families, social groups, all locals and visitors who entered the café wondered as to what was happening in the centre table. Even the employees of the café were wary of the situation. News and rumours had spread fast across the city about Dissidia Academy’s intense battle for the truth. The fact that they were about to watch the progression of the court case in action, excited them to rare heights.
“You could have picked a less crowded area…” Squall murmured with his typical unamused expression, conscious of the group surrounding them. “You know what they say about ‘personal space’, right?”
Onion Knight shrugged, smirking somewhat confidently, “This is just a game to them, pay them no mind and I’m sure you feel more comfortable. Besides … some freshly made tea and coffee during an interrogation does help tremendously.”
Terra gave Onion Knight a sudden glare, finding him spouting out the name ‘interrogation’ rather crude and stubborn. However, she switched back to Squall, letting it slide for now.
“If this place is too crowded for you, Squall, we could always move to somewhere else.” She kindly offered, hoping that the surrounding environment was suitable for this type of scenario.
“Its fine, I can live with a crowd for the time being.” Squall shrugged with a sigh in return, uncaring about oneself as can be. “I’d rather get this thing over and done with.”
Onion Knight and Terra gave a swift glance to each other, wondering how Squall will play this out. What would he reveal to them? What would he hide from them? These were questions that Onion Knight had wondered prior to this meeting. However, these two questions hid many others that Onion Knight wished immensely to pursue, considering his suspicions about Squall in relation to the case had yet to subside.
Onion Knight and Squall then locked eyes against each other, as though ready to kill given the chance. The atmosphere grew intense, the surrounding spectators beginning to quiver by the abrupt change of tone. They are edged closer, eyes and ears open with anticipation. This was what they had all waited for, the battle was about to commence!
“So be it, Squall.” Onion Knight grinned with confidence, accepting the challenge set before him. “However, let me tell you, I will not be holding back.”
“Hmph … Whatever.” Squall murmured in his monotone, his arms crossed. “But, I would like to ask ONE question before we begin.”
Onion Knight cocked an eyebrow, curious yet cautious about what he was going to ask.
“And, what would that be?” he responded back warily.
“If I remember, Firion was the one who took up the detective role. So why am I being questioned by you two?” Squall asked, his eyes glaring intimidatingly.
Both Onion Knight and Terra tensed up upon hearing the question. To Terra, she realised that Squall was not aware of Firion’s current situation, assumingly unaware of the fact that Firion had developed a concussion after a second assault. To Onion Knight, however, it was more to do with Squall’s question contradicting Onion Knight’s initial assumption on him being a possible culprit, supported by the fact that there was nothing out of character with his attitude when he asked. With that said, Onion Knight knew there was a possibility of him lying to cover his alibi or that he still had involvement with the case in some form or another.
“Firion is recovering from a concussion after an accident late Friday at Dissidia Academy; so we are just standing in for him today.” Onion Knight deciding to explain, avoiding details based on the cause of Firion’s concussion as much as possible. “Warrior of Light is doing the same on his end, so it should be fair on both sides.”
“I see.” Squall nodded in acceptance, leaning back on his seat. “I had heard that something had happened to him, so I was only curious.”
Wait, so he WASN’T oblivious to the incident with Firion? Onion Knight’s mind suddenly alerted, causing him to re-evaluate. Why does he have to be so mysterious about these things…? Fine then, we’ll have it his way; all the more reason to interrogate him.
Onion Knight then straightened up, his eyes fixated on his current opponent. Squall did the same, knowing he had to be on guard for what was about to come.
“If that is all you wished to ask, then we shall begin.” Onion Knight commented in preparation, ending the relaxed tone of the pre-interrogation.
Interrogation: Squall Leo-
“Homemade Tea for Mr Onion Knight?” a young pink-haired female waitress abruptly approached the table, a large cup of brewed tea resting on the surface she had been holding.
In that instant, the high tension in the atmosphere was shattered entirely, almost every spectator groaned out as they felt the anticipation within the hearts break into pieces. Even the three on the table had broken their concentration upon this unexpected interruption.
The waitress glanced around the room curelessly, wondering why all the spectators/customers reacted in such an abnormal way.
“Y-yes, that’s me.” Onion Knight raised a hand shakily, his head planted against the surface of the table.
The waitress then placed the mug on their table and stepped away in silence, feeling somewhat awkward. Meanwhile, as Onion Knight recovered, he had noticed Squall frozen in a face palm position and Terra glancing away in an attempt to hide the smirk from the awkwardness of their situation.
“Well, that certainly killed the mood.” Onion Knight sighed out in a murmur, picking up his mug and beginning to blow the scalding steam away.
“Tch! You’re one to talk … seeing as you were the one who ordered it in the first place.” Squall groaned back bitterly, glaring towards him in irritation.
Taking a moment to recompose himself, Onion Knight took this time to recollect his thoughts, as though being given a second chance to prepare his mind and consider the situation in front of him. Terra and Squall did the same, sighing out and taking a moment to throw away the killjoy emotion sinking in their consciousness. The audience kept silent, cautiously aware for anything else that could break tension.
Without any further interruptions and the initial tension fully reinstated, Onion Knight took the first sip of his freshly brewed coffee and locked sight with Squall.
Game on.
Interrogation: Squall Leonhart
“Squall, I would like to question you about is your relationship with both Zidane and Bartz.” Onion Knight commenced, deciding to get straight to the point.
“Oh, is that how we’re going to start this?” Squall replied with a cocked eyebrow, not expecting this interrogation to begin in such a direction. “Why do you need to know?”
“You see, in order for us to have the best possible chance on gaining Zidane the ‘Innocent’ verdict, we need insight on every aspect of this incident.” Onion Knight allowed himself to admit, feeling it was pointless to hide the purpose. “To you, it may sound random and obscure, however sometimes the most important answers lies within the most unexpected places.”
Squall shrugged carelessly, “Fine then. The three of us have been close friends for years – I would say, since we were around 10 years old … The more I think about it, the more it gives me a headache.”
“Is that so…?” Onion Knight nodded back thoughtfully, as though considering the hardship Squall had to endure. “I must say, I do feel your pain somewhat.”
“You gain a tolerance for their mischief after a while.” He brushed off lightly, “And besides; it’s always a joy to watch as one of their pranks backfire on them from time to time.”
“Karma is a tough mistress.” Onion Knight chuckled in agreement, before his eyes sparked up abruptly.
Terra caught a glance of the lit up glare in Onion Knight’s eyes, confident that she was on the same wavelength as him. The surrounding spectators watched on, most somewhat clueless, yet one or two began to fidget upon reaction of hearing Squall’s words.
No doubt about it now … he has a hand to play in all this. The wheels began to turn in Onion Knight’s mind. Question is: How is he going to play it out?
“Squall, have you ever been involved in their pranks?” Terra then questioned curiously, a question that has been bugging her mind.
Squall switched to her, a distinctive silence engulfing him. Onion Knight glanced over to her as well, rather intrigued by the question. The sudden shift of eyes caused Terra to fluster, gradually sliding down her seat in an attempt to hide herself from the attention.
“Ah, s-sorry, I … I was just curious…” Terra hastily added in defence, her cheeks glowing bright red in the thought that she did something wrong.
Onion Knight gave a subtle yet understanding grin; appreciating the amount of courage she mustered up in order to voice her thoughts. It was a question that was needed to be answered, and Onion Knight didn’t know if he himself would have asked during the questioning.
After a long pause, Squall answered the question with lowered eyes, “Bartz and Zidane would always try and get me involved with their shenanigans in some way or another. To begin with, they would ask me to join in constantly, never leaving me be until I finally accepted. During then, I would just observe by the side-lines waiting for one of them to screw up spectacularly … which happened on a regular occasion at the time. Ultimately though, I never accepted to join in their so-called ‘games’. After a while though, they would revolve the pranks around me without me even knowing about it, probably in spite or just for kicks. Those plans never worked out though as, by that time, everyone already knew who would be to blame if they were pranked on, even when Zidane attempted to ‘expose’ me as the true mastermind. He and Bartz sure enjoyed those back-to-back detentions … then again; I certainly enjoyed the much needed personal space.”
“You sound as though you were happy to get away from them whenever you had the chance.” Onion Knight casually commented.
Squall gave another pause, his eyes glaring like daggers ready to fight back if something was out of line. Onion Knight, glaring back, was aware of Squall’s avoidance, noticing a few hints of caution in his attitude. The surrounding crowd felt the tension begin to tighten, feeling the flowing adrenaline circling the air.
“You could say that … Then again, I’m sure you would understand more if you had those two pestering you every single day starting from the crack of dawn.” Squall then sighed, as though reflecting on the days when he ‘suffered’ the most. “It was just nice to get some fresh air every once in a while. You could say it was … refreshing.”
Within that moment, Terra felt a shiver crawl down her spy unexpectedly, almost leaping up from her seat. She didn’t know why she reacted all of a sudden; it was as though Squall’s last comment set off alarm bells. Onion Knight was observant of Terra’s reaction, considering it to be a sign of change in the atmosphere surrounding Squall.
However, he couldn’t just end it here, he needed more from Squall.
“Was there ever a time when you accepted to help those two?” He pursued to question, the tone of his voice strengthening to show he was a force to be reckoned with. “Aside from the times you watched from the side-lines, of course.”
“As I said, I only watched their pranks from the side-lines.” Squall reiterated, his voice clear as day as he spoke. “Besides, would you see me get involved in something so petty and asinine?”
Onion Knight shook his head hesitantly, unsure if it was the right choice to answer back. His mind like clockwork, he began to prepare for the next string of questions within an instant. Yet, before he could press on, he was abruptly halted.
“… No, hold on … there was that ‘one time’.” Squall lowly admitted, the thought just clicking in his mind.
“That ‘one time’?” Terra echoed his words curiously, her interest peaking similarly to Onion Knight. “Whatever do you mean, Squall?”
“It was during the time at our old school, not long before we entered Dissidia Academy.” Squall answered, thinking hard to remember. “At least … I think it was then.”
The audience eyed in closer, a few gasping in awe at this sudden revelation. Onion Knight groaned underneath his breath, beginning to feel irritated by the constant intimidation of the surrounding stares. Brushing it aside, he kept a strong posture and pressed on.
“It seems our ‘audience’ is showing interest, Squall.” Onion Knight decided to point out, a clue that was obvious to even the densest of people. “Could you give us more detail?”
Another long pause, as though Squall carefully considered whether to enlighten the two who sat before him – and the surrounding crowd. However, it was too late to back away at this point without setting off unnecessary rumours.
“It began during Lunch Break …”
2 Years Ago, within the facilities of Balamb Elementary…
“But Squaaaaallll … You HAVE to help me with this!” Zidane begged Squall, gazing up at him with large, hopeful eyes. “It’s our final day and I have the PERFECT send-off prank for the Headmaster! I can’t do this without you, man!”
“For the millionth time, I’m not getting involved with whatever you’re scheming.” Squall spat in frustration, trying his best to eat his lunch in peace.
The two were situated in the large and spacious dining hall of the school, lines of tables stationed in a parallel position with a considerable mass of students scattered among them. The typical echoes of the student’s voices echoed like wildfire, conversations of excitement for the summer break and what was to come for them when they enter their new schools and academies. Squall, sporting a slightly more youthful appearance and a jet-black school uniform, was hunched over his food with an irritated expression engraved deep into his monotone face. Zidane, also sporting the same uniform and equally more youthful appearance, sat opposite leaning forward and fidgeting in hopes of his friend’s acceptance.
“Come on, buddy, I’m desperate here!” Zidane continued to pry, refusing to give up. “Think about it, it’s the last day! The teachers can’t punish us even if we were to get caught, and everyone will walk away talking about it for weeks!”
“Not exactly …” Squall rebutted Zidane instantly, noticing a flaw in his excuse, “The school can refute our entry into Dissidia Academy without even lifting a finger … at least that’s what I’ve heard.”
Zidane gave a blank stare in return, acting as though he was unable to process the thought. Squall’s own eyes narrowed as he sipped on his drink, irritated by Zidane’s ridiculously dense outlook.
“… We’ll be fine!” Zidane then abruptly gave the thumbs up, his upbeat expression proving that he had completely discarded the possible consequence. “Besides, me and Bartz have already set up most of it. Just a little bit more tweaking and we’ll be good to go.”
Squall gave a long groan, feeling the uncontrollable desire to run away. This thought was instantly negated though as he knew Zidane would overtake him and prevent his escape within mere seconds. He endured, knowing he wasn’t going to get out of this easily.
“If you shup up and show me what you’ve done, then maybe I’ll help.” Squall murmured regretfully, instantly resenting the decision.
“YES!!!” Zidane roared out ecstatically, throwing his arms up in the air as he leaped up from his seat.
At that moment, the dining hall fell silent. Students turned curiously to see why there was a sudden shout for joy. Zidane was oblivious, his mind completely psyched up with anticipation. In contrast, Squall had his face completely in the palms of his hands, continuing to groan with regret.
Not long after, Squall and Zidane stood in the empty Theatre hall of the school, staring upon the complete set up for the prank. Zidane couldn’t stand still, his excitement reaching its absolute peak. Squall, on the other hand, glared with an expression of absurdity, completely dumbfounded by what was situated in front of him.
“So, what do you think?” Zidane cheerfully wondered, his hands on his hips and his chest pumped up with pride. “It’s awesome, right?”
“Y-you … you must be joking.” Squall stuttered his words, his eyes wide as he processed what was placed in front of him.
Situated in the centre of the stage was an enormous blue bucket, filled to the brim with freezing cold water and a vast array of ice cubes. Beside it was a group of small rolling apparatus, commonly used for exercises and stretching. Based on what was seen here, Squall gathered instantly that Zidane had stolen these from the P.E. Equipment Store.
“Ha-ha-haa …you need to lighten up, Squall. The school barely ever used these during lessons so I thought they would be of more suitable use for what I have planned.” Zidane chuckled, acting all care-free. “Now then, this is the plan: I will have the bucket balanced up in the rafters of the stage, directly above where the Headmaster will be standing. In the meantime, you’ll be hiding in the backstage, ready to bowl the rollers.”
“… And what will Bartz be doing?” Squall questioned.
“I’ve placed Bartz on filming duty.” Zidane quickly answered, a grin beaming from him. “He’ll be sitting in the crowds recording the whole prank and sending it to all the students afterwards. I guarantee you, it’ll trend like wildfire.”
Squall was silent, uncertain about this considering everything Zidane had told him. There were a few issues he wished to address.
“Why not place me on filming duty?” Squall decided to express. “Bartz has more experience in your pranks, whilst always I watch on the side-lines.”
“Well, I wanted to change things up and give Bartz a break from being on the forefront.” Zidane admitted truthfully, feeling compassion for his best friend.
Squall slowly nodded, as though understand his reasoning. Then again, considering Zidane’s tendency of using Bartz as a scapegoat all the time, there wasn’t any wonder why he came to such a decision. With that said, there was something else Squall needed to point out.
“I know you’re agile and everything, but I don’t think you’ll be able to carry that bucket up to the rafters with all that water weighing it down.”
Zidane froze upon hearing Squall’s criticism, having just realised his mistake as his expression dropped from excitement to horror. Squall rolled his eyes, knowing all too well that this wasn’t the first mistake he had made with his pranks.
“BARTZ!!!” Zidane abruptly bellowed out, causing Squall to jump up in fright.
Within seconds of Zidane’s call, a youthful, innocent-eyed Bartz appeared from amongst the curtain folds of the Theatre stage.
“Aye, Sir!” He saluted, attempting to pull a forced straight face.
“We screwed up!” Zidane crossed his arms with a serious pout.
“How so!?” Bartz blurted in shock.
“We put the water and ice in the bucket BEFORE we set it up on the rafters!” Zidane explained to him.
There was another pause, Bartz glancing over to the equipment as his mind slowly connected the dots. There was an odd ticking noise clicking as he tried to figure out the problem. Squall face-palmed, find this all infuriating.
“*Gasp* OH NO!” Bartz yelled out, placing his hands on his head. “The ice and water took me AGES to steal from the Kitchens without being caught! Whatever shall we do now!?”
So that’s how they got the ice and water … Squall’s mind clicked, having answered another of his questions for him.
“Don’t worry, we still have time!” Zidane assured him, approaching Bartz and placing his hands on his shoulders. “The prank will work no matter what is thrown against us!”
“… well great, now we’re all screwed.” Squall commented under his breath with a low sigh, speaking quietly enough so Bartz and Zidane wouldn’t hear him.
Shifting to the end-of-year Balamb School Assembly, the Theatre Hall was filled to the brim with students and teachers, watching the Headmaster, a cheerful yet sophisticated man referred to many as Mr Kramer, stand on the stage to give his final speech in hopes to inspire the students for their future endeavours.
Squall was in position behind the stage curtains with the rollers, ready for either Bartz or Zidane to give the signal. Zidane, having been able to set the bucket up in the rafters, was also ready to go. Bartz, sitting amongst the crowd with their class, we set filming the Assembly with his cell-phone.
Now all they need was the perfect timing.
“… And so, students of Balamb Elementary…” Mr Kramer began to conclude in a clear and upbeat voice.
Zidane nodded over to Squall as reassurance that it was almost time, in which Squall indicated back with a confirmed nod. Bartz zoomed the camera on his cell, getting the clearest picture possible for what was about to occur.
“… I thank you wholeheartedly for the great years spent at this school, and I have faith that you will follow your ambitions to a promising future!” The Headmaster bowed, end his speech.
That was the signal.
Zidane tipped the bucket, allowing it to fall on target. Squall stepped forward, the stage on his right, and aimed the rollers. The bucket landed upside-down directly on top of its target, causing Mr Kramer to shriek as the freezing water and ice was soaked all over him. Squall followed up and released the rollers, timing it just as Mr Kramer lifted a leg. The moment the rollers made contact, Mr Kramer obliviously began to lose his footing. Ultimately, he slipped up on one of the rollers and collided against the stage floor on his back, the large bucket covering his torso entirely.
The room erupted in amazement and laughter, even cheering for Mr Kramer for a spectacular ending. Bartz was able to grasp the money-shot on his cell, grinning non-stop. Zidane indicated with an ecstatic fist-pump towards Squall, who glanced away awkwardly. Admittedly, Squall felt bad for Mr Kramer, a man he had some respect for out of all the teachers at the school. However, he was rather amused by the result of the prank, trying his absolute hardest to hide his amusement from Zidane.
However, this amusement was cut short as Squall caught a glimpse of his homeroom teacher glaring directly towards him from the far distance with fury in her eyes.
They were caught.
Present Day …
“… What we didn’t expect that day was that our Homeroom teacher had called out for the register at the beginning of the Assembly; meaning she was able to place the blame on me and Zidane to the Headmaster for the prank without a second thought.” Squall concluded his story, a sly smile hidden beneath his cold expression. “Mr Kramer took the whole situation as a positive so the both of us were let off lightly. If it wasn’t for him, myself and Zidane wouldn’t have been allowed in Dissidia Academy.”
Onion Knight and Terra took in Squall’s story, having not initially expected to gain insight on both Squall and Zidane’s time before Dissidia Academy. The surrounding crowds began to discuss the story, enlightened and curious by what they had listened to. Throughout the time Squall spoke, Onion Knight was able to finish his mug of coffee, now playfully swirling the final drops as he figured out how to connect this to the current case.
“I’ve got to say, that was a nice little story you gave us, Squall.” He then chuckled, placing his mug back on the table as he spoke. “Considering the amount of detail, one would accuse you of actually enjoying the prank.”
“Tch! That’s just your imagination talking.” Squall hastily dismissed, glancing away.
“If that’s how you see it, then I’m not going to pry.” Onion Knight shrugged back, deciding it was time to further the interrogation by his favour. “Instead, shall we discuss about Zidane’s most recent ‘mess-up’?”
Within the instant of Onion Knight’s question, the surrounding environment of the café changed, feeling as though the climate heated up exponentially. Individuals in the surrounding audience quivered as this feeling struck them hard, excitement rushing through their veins. Squall glared hesitantly, as though ready to fight back if necessary.
“What … would you like to know?” He cautiously asked, his fist beginning to clench against the table.
“Oh, just a few things … for now.” Onion Knight confidently admitted, efficiently making his move. “Firstly, were you aware of Zidane and Bartz’s plans to prank Professor Gabbaini during Friday Lunch Break?”
Squall shook his head in reply, “No, they didn’t mention any plans about that prank whenever I was with them.”
“Considering from what you had told us, do you ever wonder why they didn’t tell you about it?” Onion Knight then followed up, the story and earlier questions still fresh in his mind.
“The day I would care about such things, I would send myself to the nearest mental hospital.” Squall growled bitterly, “It’s Zidane’s fault for getting into this mess in the first place, I’ve rather avoid being any part of it.”
… Harsh. Onion Knight’s mind commented, knowing Terra had the same thought. “How did you feel when you heard that Zidane’s petty prank possibly lead to the recent ‘incident’ with Rydia?”
“I couldn’t care less.” Squall crossed his arms as he answered, eyes giving a piercing glare.
Onion Knight gave a small glance towards Terra, the two noticing a darker shift in tone with the way Squall spoke. He knew they were going into topics that would possibly surface during the next court trial, but Onion Knight needed to find a plausible counter argument against Warrior of Light if he were to confirm his suspicions against Squall.
“If you wouldn’t mind me asking then; what were you doing during the time of the incident?” He questioned Squall, knowing the risk his was taking.
Squall’s eyes widened upon being asked the question, a reaction Onion Knight immediately tried to memorize. Squall’s eyes lowered and his teeth began to grit together hard, seemingly struggling to answer.
Onion Knight must have struck a chord.
“… That is a question I don’t need to answer right now.” Squall quietly murmured back in response.
“And why it that, Squall?” Onion Knight pressured him, eyes glaring to show he wasn’t going to let Squall run away so easily.
“That’s because right now … I’m speaking to someone who believes me to be the suspect of this case.” He answered in an abrupt threatening tone, his eyes shooting daggers back at his opposition. “And that question of yours just proved it.”
Onion Knight’s eyes widened, feeling as though his mind was just pried open. It hadn’t occurred to him that Squall was aware of his suspicions. How did he know? Was Onion Knight so transparent when he asked his questions? Right now, he couldn’t allow Squall to see any further cracks in his expression that would allude to the idea, whether or not Squall was pulling a bluff on him.
“That’s a rather antagonistic way of thinking, Squall.” Onion Knight struck back, wondering where this situation would lead. “We’re all classmates here, it would be deemed unwise if I were to accuse you of such things.”
Squall chuckled, seeing right through his opposition’s mental armour, “If that is the case; then I want you to show me proof – right here and now, in front of all these people – why I should or shouldn’t be deemed a suspect.”
Onion Knight felt as though Squall was intentionally pushing him into the nearest corner, attempting to find a weakness to exploit in front of their audience. He placed a hand against the pouch of his pocket, where the strands of brown hair were sitting ready to be revealed to the world. However, he knew now would be the worst time to reveal the evidence, as it was his main weapon for the court trial.
“Well, it looks like you’ll have to wait until court day.” Onion Knight returned with a small grin, refusing to give into this heightened tension surrounding them.
Squall slowly and silently nodded upon hearing Onion Knight’s answer, understanding his words fully. He rose up from his chair and began to move his joints, feeling the stiffness leave his body.
“So be it; I’ll see you when I take the witness stand tomorrow.” Squall concluded, turning away from Onion Knight and Terra. “We’re done here.”
Interrogation: Squall Leonhart … SUCCESSFUL!
Squall left his seat and headed towards the door of the café without another word, his expression hidden from view. Onion Knight slumped on his seat just as Squall disappeared, giving out a large sigh of relief. Terra, on the other hand, sat silently, not knowing what to think. However, Onion Knight glanced over upon realising that they were still being watched by the surrounding crowd.
“Show is over, people!” He then raised his voice, a hint of irritation in his voice.
Instantly, the majority of the audience scattered from the café, going back to living their lives. Others hung about, either ordering from the various waiters and waitresses or finishing off their mugs of drink. Onion Knight turned to Terra as the feeling of eyes weighing him down finally left his mind.
“What do you reckon?” he asked her, noticing her silence.
“I don’t know … there’s a large amount of history based on what Squall said but I don’t know whether anything would clearly hint to him being a potential suspect.” Terra expressed with uncertainty, shaking her head lowly.
“I know what you mean, and it’s understandable considering there was a considerable amount to take in. However, I can assure you that this will all fall rightly into place.” Onion Knight nodded, a sign of confidence gleaming from the light of his eyes. “For starters, I saw you shiver when Squall spoke about Zidane and Bartz messing up. A reaction like that isn’t something that one could easily gloss over.”
Terra’s eyes rose slightly, remembering the moment her reaction occurred. Although it was a concern, she couldn’t see that as a confirmation. Onion Knight then reached underneath the table, grasping onto an object that was locked against the underside of the table base. Unhooking it from its position, he revealed the device he had hidden prior to the confrontation with Squall and placed it on the table surface in front of them. The device was a Voice Recorder, the Record light blinking red to show that the entire conversation was saved securely in the device’s memory.
“With the new evidence and information Celes gave us yesterday and everything on this voice recorder; we have a strong chance to win this case.” Onion Knight grinned with motivation, refusing to allow Zidane to get the guilty verdict.
Terra anxiously smiled back, mixed emotions coursing through her mind ranging from uncertainty and worry to confident and trusting of her friend.
Just then, the door of the café sprung open, revealing two figures. They silently entered and directed themselves towards Onion Knight and Terra’s table. It wasn’t until the two stood over them when Onion Knight and Terra caught sight of them, both almost leaping up from their seats with fright.
“Wha – Firion!?” Onion Knight blurted in surprise, shocked to see him standing over them in healthy condition. “Are you feeling fine now?”
Firion, with no signs of injury or bandaging to be seen, nodded with a calm smile, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. By the way, look who I was able to come across during my travels.”
The second figure, casually hiding behind Firion, stepped to the side and revealed himself to the two.
“Zidane!” Terra this time blurted out in surprise; both shocked and relieved to see him again and in safe condition after yesterday.
Zidane gave a small yet soulless grin in response, his eyes gazing to the floor below.
Later that day …
Squall Leonhart stepped towards the sealed Dissidia Academy Entrance Gates, his hands in his pockets and his expression as dull as per norm. The sky was of a dusk setting, barely a cloud in the sky and the first signs of stars beginning to break through the red and orange. The trees were still, not a gust of wind in sight. Everything was quiet and motionless giving off a calm aura.
However it was then when three figures emerged before Squall, the first of whom being Warrior of Light.
“How much were you able to discuss with him?” He questioned warily, hoping that Squall hadn’t revealed too much.
“Relax, I only told him what was necessary.” Squall reassured him; a long monotone sigh escaped his breath as he spoke.
“Good, there’s no need for unnecessary implications when the trial restarts tomorrow.” Warrior of Light accepted in relief, his tall posture easing ever so slightly.
“And what about you?” Squall then returned a question, curious to see his end. “Were you able to suitable evidence against Zidane?”
Warrior of Light nodded with a confident chuckle, “I have all the necessary ingredients to turn this trial on its head. Onion Knight’s chances of winning are diminishing.”
“What about them?” Squall followed up, noticing the two other figures stepping up closer into the light.
“They’re testimonies are sufficient.” He answered firmly, showing no signs of wavering. “With you three as the key witnesses, there is no doubt in my mind that we’ll see Zidane receive the guilty verdict.”
The two now standing among both Squall and Warrior of Light glanced towards curiously, wondering what Warrior of Light’s plan would be.
One of them stood with a powerful yet elegant stance and held a tough unbreakable expression. A fellow and vocal member of the Student Council; Celes Chere was primed to testify.
The other stood rather tall and lean with a kind-hearted and trustful expression. A fellow classmate and friend within the group of Class 13A; Cecil Harvey was concerned for Zidane, yet was unable to hide the truth of what he saw that day any longer.
“Let the final battle for the truth commence.” Warrior of Light concluded, his pride shining brightly as the setting sun fell behind the horizon.


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