6 months has passed since Galcain was defeated. Aika has some unfinished business to finish. She suceeds, but what has happen to her?
As soon as the group arrived at Crescent Isle, they hit the hay. The whole evening was sorted out and Aika was happy. Plus, Vigoro would probably stay away from Aika for a long time. But one thing bothered Fina. Why hadn't Vigoro's love-spices taken effect on Aika? These thoughts continued to whirl in Fina's head until she fell asleep.
Vyse awakened like a flash. What was that? Was it just a dream? No, there it was again. The scream. Aika's scream! He quickly jumped out of bed and rushed to Aika's room. He slammed the door open and readied himself to defend his friend. But in the room there were no other person but the sleeping Aika. Her blanket had fallen out of her bed and she wiggled. Her forehead was stained with sweat and she groaned. Fina entered the room, dressed in a white dressing gown.
"What has happen?" she asked.
"She's just having a nightmare." Vyse said.
A little relieved, he went over to the bed to wake Aika up. He shook her shoulder mildly. No reaction.
"Aika, wake up!"
He slapped her lightly on her cheek. Aika moved her arms like if she tried to fend someone of in her sleep. No reaction whatsoever!
"This may help." Fina said.
Concentrating very hard, she formed a small CRYSTALI and pressed the tiny ice-cube against the sleepers foot. Aika screamed, but didn't wake.
"Alright, hope this works." Vyse said nervously.
He lifted Aika's left leg and tickled her foot. Aika twisted her head and kicked out with her foot. It hit Vyse straight at the nose. It immediately started to bleed. He quickly put up his right hand to stop the blood.
"Do we have anything left?" Vyse asked a bit muddled.
Fina stretched out her arms just above Aika. She took a deep breath and concentrated hard.
"LUNAR CLEANSING! HAH!"
No effect. Aika still slept and still remained in her nightmare.
"What has happen to her?" Vyse said.
He had a painful look on his face but not from the kick. To see his best friend being tormented without being able to do anything about it...
"It may be a side effect from those love spices." Fina suggested.
"I'll go get 'em." Vyse said and stormed out from the room and made his way to the headquarters.
Or was it? Vigoro probably wouldn't want to put Aika in danger like this. A small suspicion entered Fina's mind. She picked up Aika's yellow shorts from the floor and started to search through the pockets. Ah, there! A small jar, much like Vigoro's. She read the note on it's front. /"Formula 45: Eternal Nightmare"/. Fina gasped and the rest of the text weren't much better either:
"The victim will suffer from grievous nightmares while being unable to wake up."
A small tear fell down on Fina's cheek. How had she... Vyse entered the bedroom, holding a small jar.
"I found it!"
Fina gave the Nightmare-bottle to Vyse without a word. He quickly read it and his face quickly changed from deep worries to despair.
"How did she got this? Did she drank it by mistake?"
"Of course not." said Fina. "This must be what she planned for Vigoro!"
"Yes! She did say that 'the real nightmare' would start soon. And now she's got it herself!"
"So, we got to find the antidote."
"If it even exists. Did she buy one in the first place?"
Fina gasped. If Aika bought the formula for Vigoro, chances were indeed big she wouldn't waste money on a cure...
"Let's look through the room." Fina said. "Just to be sure."
The whole room got turned upside down and was looked through several times but they couldn't find anything. Both Vyse and Fina had been with Aika before and after the dinner and practically ever since she came back to Crescent Isle so she couldn't have hidden it anywhere else but in her room. The situation was hopeless. They could do nothing and meanwhile Aika was tormented. Nothing? Wait a sec...
"She bought the formula in Nasrad, right?" Vyse said.
"If we find the one who sold it to her, we might get the antidote."
"So, which one of us will go?" said Fina.
True, they couldn't just let Aika be by herself. Who knew what could happen to her? Suddenly, sounds of ships engine filled the air. Vyse and Fina looked out of the window and saw the approaching ship.
"No cause for alarm." Fina said. "It's the /Primrose/."
"Clara? What's she doing here?" Vyse said.
"Probably looking for Gilder."
Clara couldn't have come on a better occasion. Since the ship were headed for the docks, Vyse and Fina rushed out of the living quarters to the dock.
"...and then we realised we had to go to Nasrad to find an antidote for her." Vyse finished.
Clara nodded. She had a worried look on her face.
"So, you want me to stay here with Aika while you to go get it." she said.
"Yes. We can't leave her alone, and what if Vigoro comes back?"
It was indeed possible. Since Vigoro wouldn't suffer from any "real nightmares", he could maybe add two and two and rush back to Crescent Isle. Thank the moons he was put to sleep on the trip there.
"Alright. I'll stay with her. Now hurry up and get ready!"
Vyse and Fina hurried back to their quarters to gear up, not to mention get dressed. Whoever would travel in their pyjamas?
Vyse and Fina managed to do a small amount of packing in record time. They realised that it could take anything from a couple of hours to several days before the antidote were in their hands. The Wave line was prepared in just a couple of minutes, and now they were on straight course to Nasrad. Both Vyse and Fina were worried and didn't say much. Their thoughts were at Crescent Isle with their friend. And if the antidote couldn't be found...
She is aboard the Delphinus, they are fighting against Ramirez. He is partly encapsulated together with remains of Zelos. Both Vyse and Fina are gravely injured and lay in their own blood. Aika hasn't time to stop and help her friends, if so Ramirez will take her off guard and kill both her and her friends. Suddenly she stops. In her mind, she is intending to strike out at Ramirez but instead she walks calmly over to her friends. What is going on? Her mind is still hers, but someone is controlling her body.
"Good. Now, kill them." Ramirez says to her.
It feels like a dream. It isn't her doing, but still it is. Vyse and Fina look up at Aika with fear in their eyes.
"Aika! No! Don't do this!" Vyse whispers, too exhausted to scream.
She sees herself kick Vyse in his side and then she strikes his head with her boomerang. Vyse groans and his face shows his anguish.
"One more time! Harder!"
This time, she thrust her boomerang down on his throat with the pointy edge downwards. He wriggles his head, coughs up blood and looks up at Aika with betrayal and sorrow in his eyes.
"Why do you do this?"
She wants to explain, but she can't. She suddenly throws her head backwards and laughs. But it isn't her usual laugh. It is more wicked, cruel, but still it is hers. And the blood pouring out from Vyse's body is her doing. She wants to cry, but she can't. She would gladly change place with Vyse only to be relieved from this curse and to spare him from his pain.
"Now! Take the girl." Ramirez commands.
Fina's eyes are wide by despair and fear. As in a distance, Aika can hear Fina's pleading. Her mind struggles, but her body moves none the less. She pulls up her arm and prepares for a violent thrust...
The Wave Line was rigged at the docking area. Already on their approach, the climate had gradually turned warmer. Now it was scorching. But the local Nasradiens didn't show any sign of sweating and ordeal.
"I always forget how warm it is around here!" Vyse said and dried sweat from his forehead.
"Like you'll be set on fire?" Fina said.
"Now, where should we start looking?" said Vyse.
"She said she had been at the bazaar, so I'll say we try there first." Fina said.
The two Air Pirates made their way to the bazaar. As usual, the city was very cramped. Several times, they almost got separated in the crowd. In the end they had to walk arm-in-arm. The bazaar area was at least a little less crowded. Vyse and Fina looked around and spotted a salesmen with some very familiar bottles. The two friends looked at each other, nodded, and went over to the booth. The salesman saw them and made a quick bow. He was an elderly man, dressed in a white coat that reached down to his foots and he had a long black beard. He was rather fat too.
"Welcome, welcome. What can I offer you?"
Vyse held up the .45 bottle.
"Did you sell this yesterday? To a red-head gal. I think you'd remember her."
The salesman nodded.
"Yes. Very eager to buy. Very beautiful."
"We're looking for an antidote against this thing, 'Eternal Nightmare'."
The salesman looked close at the bottle.
"Ah yes, .45. Very horrible dew. Yes indeed."
"The antidote." Vyse repeated.
"Ah, but I don't have it."
Vyse had to choke a scream. Fina paled.
"You don't have an antidote?" Vyse said.
"Ah, no. Those things are... aaah, just too expensive. You see, if I would include antidote for everything, I couldn't make my living!"
Before Vyse could answer, Fina stepped forward. Vyse saw she had a most angry look on her face. Not like she was flying in a rage but it was something more diabolical. He felt this could be rough, so he stepped away.
"And do you know just how horrible that dew is!? Do you!"
Her glare was so sharp that it could probably pierce through iron. She had so much steel in her voice it would last for over a hundred Yafutoman swords and still supply Ryu-Kan with material for over a year. The salesman backed off.
"Right now, my friend is suffering from this! And you know very well what she is going through now!"
"Hey, hey, gal, calm down." said the salesman with a frightened voice.
"I. Am. Not!! Not until you tell us who you bought this stuff from and where we can get the antidote! And fast!"
If Prince Daigo were here, he would probably rename the volcano "Mount Kazai" to "Mount Fina". The salesman sat down and breathed heavily.
"Yes, yes. I... I bought this from a merchant. I don't know his name, no one does. He... he travels around the continents and sells his wares."
"Where is he now!? And don't you dare tell any lies!"
Was this the real Fina?
"He... he was headed to Maramba. But that was for some days ago, so you better hurry."
Fina immediately turned around and left. Vyse leant forward to the salesman and said:
"Don't worry ,we'll buy you a backbone while we're there."
The salesman didn't seem to die of happiness for that. Vyse turned around to hurry after Fina, then he thought about what she had said.
"By the way, did you sell any .44 recently? My friend got a taste of it and it didn't had any effect. Why is that?"
"No, I didn't sell it, it was a big man who nicked one of my bottles when I had my eyes off the stall. My wares always work, but if they are mixed with another potion, the effect will be cancelled."
"Tell me another! I saw she was having nightmares!"
"...but only a potion with a lower number will be not effective."
Without a word, Vyse quickly hurried of to the docks, leaving a pale salesman after him.
After some minutes of crowd-pushing Vyse and Fina were back at /Wave Line/. Fina had cooled down after her outrage at the bazaar.
"I mean, he didn't even care enough to sell an antidote. That stuff is just horrible and he just... treats it like business. Who knows what more stuff he has!? Now Aika is going through a living... hell and that man just..."
She shook her head.
"You're right. Still, I don't think I've seen anyone that scared."
"Well, you discover something new every day." Fina said with a smirk.