Fandom: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Word Count: 626
Prompt: 16 Nothing can be made out of nothing - King Lear
Summary: After the war, Silque aids Ram Village, sparking a change within Faye.
The sun beats down against Faye’s neck. After her morning of hunching over, it’s stiff when she stretches it, spotting the men working near her. She bends further back, but the sky offers no clouds to turn into pictures, and without distractions she can’t ignore their conversation.
“I don’t know how we’re supposed to feed more than mouths usual when we’ve been growing less,” one says, leaning on his hoe. The man next to him is still working with his.
“Not by complaining, that’s for sure. Besides, that’s what the help from the capital is for.”
“It’s not enough! I spent so long babysitting soldiers yesterday that I barely got to pick up my hoe! And do you want to ‘entertain’ the knight that comes for us when we don’t meet our quota?”
“C’mon, It’s Alm, he wouldn’t--”
“That’s King Alm,” a nearby soldier barks, and Faye ducks her head.
She doesn’t realize how rigid her back is until a hand touches it, making her snap up like a bowstring. “Peace,” Silque says, kneeling beside her. “I thought you might like some company.”
In the past, no. “Yeah, thanks.”
Silque’s chattering distracts her from not only the men, but also the clumsiness of her own planting. She isn’t practiced with farm tools, let alone whatever methods the castle has charged inventors with developing. Her dreams of growing her own food had always been to feed herself and Alm, and perhaps a family. A garden would have sufficed. But the world is larger, she’s seen it herself--even if it’s hard to remember from her place in someone’s shadow.
Silque fills in the gaps, reminiscing of places and events that Faye can barely recall. In truth, Faye doesn’t need to know, especially when Silque strays into embarrassing or scandalous incidents among the army. But it fills in time while the sun grows hotter still overhead, and it’s nicer to listen to than the village men, all of whom have conflicting accounts about the state outside.
“I’d forgotten how different the soil is on the mainland,” Silque says, holding clumps between her fingers as if expecting it to sift through. “Not to mention the alcohol…”
By now Faye knows that Silque used to only eat fish, and that at times she had to gird herself for tempests, though she tempted fate by taking walks beforehand. Faye can imagine it--Silque floating at the top of a cliff, the wind swirling her hair and habit while her face remains as smooth as a pond.
It almost makes her want to leave the village again, just to watch.
She busies herself with her work. She doesn’t want to think about how Silque, too, is bigger than this village. She likes to imagine she’s the reason Silque chose to help Ram, that Silque came all this way just for her. That warms her more than the dirt giving way under her calloused fingertips and hiding beneath her nails.
“Storing so much wine in the priory got us in trouble sometimes,” Silque says with a hum. “Especially when there were little ones about.”
Though she rolls her eyes, Faye tucks the seeds into bed like a handful of children. A farmer shouts at her to hurry up. It’s not the first time; she’s better at hunting, but the others talk about prioritizing the long-term.
The only future she pictured has been shattered. She casts a furtive look at the halo the sun casts around Silque’s hair and tries to place her in a new dream.
After the farmer’s rebuke Silque put down her head, which she lifts to wink at Faye. Silque isn’t a dream. She’s right here.
The seeds have just been planted, but Faye feels them beginning to sprout.