Chapter 45 – The Labyrinth of Ice and The Lifestream

Chapter 45 – The Labyrinth of Ice and The Lifestream

Translated by Mecorx, Proofread by Crashouch

I slowly slid my way into the crevasse like an expiring serpent just as the explosion occurred nearby. The area shook and that was all it took. As I fell downwards, I cursed the fact that my efforts had been wasted. A few metres into my fall, there was an overhang made of ice. It was where Kyrie was standing. I wanted to scream as I landed on my shoulder.


I stood up and tried to to ease the anxieties that Kyrie was no doubt stricken with. Just then, the ice nearby made a cracking sound. In anticipation of what would happen next, I gave up trying to stand, and reached out my right hand to Kyrie. She took it and I pulled her with all of my strength. She dropped to her knees in confusion, and sat next to me. I let go of her hand, ignoring the severe pain, then shifted my right hand to the back of her head, and drew her close. Seeming to understand my intentions, Kyrie buried her face in my chest.

“It’s alright now.” In this worst of situations, this was probably the best thing I could have done.


A dreadful sound could be heard as the ice platform we were on broke from its base. We slid from the slanted platform, and flew through the air. I knew if I stayed under her, I would be able to break her fall to some extent. I wondered what would happen to me. Perhaps I would hit my head and fall unconscious. Perhaps I would just die right then and there. I waited for the impact as we fell.

But it never came.

With Kyrie still in my arms, we were enveloped by something soft and warm. We were in a pure white world. Even as I closed my eyes, I could see the whiteness through my eyelids. It was neither cold, nor warm. I was in a state of confusion, unable to make sense of what was going on. When I opened my mouth, “something” entered with force. Before long, I heard voices. No, I felt them. They were muffled, like what you would hear if you plugged your ears in a crowd. A multitude of words mingled, and made no sense at all. It was just noise. It wasn’t unpleasant.

Eventually that sound also faded. Deeper and deeper, we continued falling. I found that Kyrie was clinging tightly to me. In response, I hugged Kyrie with both my arms. Both arms? Yes. My left shoulder wasn’t hurting at all. I tried turning my shoulder to check it. The pain was gone for real.

Then I was convinced. We were in the lifestream. It accepts all life, heals, purifies, and creates new life. The other form of life. It felt as if all that had been vague and incomprehensible had suddenly fallen into place. We were connected with the planet. I felt sleepy. An unbearable drowsiness. I was falling. Continuing endlessly deeper.

* *

I woke up with a tingling pain on my cheek. Kyrie’s face, with her eyes closed, was right next to mine. I could hear her breathing softly. I stood up and looked around. There was a hole, about 3 metres wide, in the surface of the ice. It seemed that was where we had emerged from. The edge of the hole appeared to continue smoothly into water. The walls that gently extended from the ground, as well as the ceiling, were both made of ice. Perhaps this was the path taken by the Lifestream two years ago. We were in a passage of ice.

“Kyrie?” When I called out to her, Kyrie grimaced with her eyes still closed, but soon opened them.


“Kyrie.” I pulled Kyrie, who was now sitting up, into a hug. The ridiculousness of the situation got to me and I started to laugh.


“All we’ve been doing is calling for each other and hugging each other.”

“You’re right.”

But that was enough.

“Ugh. My feet are cold.”

“In there…” I pointed to the hole leading into the lifestream, “It was warm, wasn’t it? Why don’t you try dipping them in?”

“Well, it wasn’t warm, or cold either. It just… just felt comfortable.”

I put my hand into the hole. But the water was skin-bitingly cold. I boldly submerged my arm up until my shoulder. Then I realised that around my fingertips it was warm.

“The lifestream… right?”


“Can you read it?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“It’s completely different than I imagined.”

“But it saved us, didn’t it?”

“Right.” As she said that, Kyrie hugged her own body. “Ughhh, it’s cold.”

“Let’s look for a way out. We’ll freeze if we stay here.”

If it came to it, it might be good idea to dive into the lifestream again. Though, there’s no guarantee that we’d be saved like that again. We were taught two years ago that the lifestream wasn’t always kind. It just wasn’t angry right now. That’s how it felt.

“This was the path of the lifestream. So there should be an exit somewhere. The one from two years ago, that is.”

“Yeah.” Kyrie nodded with a laugh.


“It’s like you’re a different person now. You’re not messing around anymore.”

“Well, that’s just who I am…” I started walking, pretending to be angry.

Kyrie chased after me and entwined herself with my left arm. “Ah, I did it again. Sorry…”

“Nah, it’s alright. It’s cured.”

“The lifestream sure is amazing.”

“Being a nice person pays off.” It was Fabio’s catchphrase.

“Do you think Fabio was there too?”

“Yeah, I’m sure he was.”

We walked hand-in-hand. Neither of us said anything for a while. I felt guilty for being happy that I had survived. Even after dissolving into the lifestream, becoming part of the planet, and understanding that it was another form of life, death was still hard to accept. Much less the death of a friend.

* *

We walked for about an hour. The cold was aggressive. Never mind me, it was Kyrie’s bare legs that seemed to be getting the worst of it. The inside of the passage was surrounded by a transparent layer of ice, but it appeared that it was so deep underground that light from the surface couldn’t reach it. The patches of ground that did glow were being illuminated by the light given off by the lifestream flowing further beneath us. When it grew brighter, we came across a hole leading to the surface, much like the one we had gone through when we got here.

I had figured we could jump into the lifestream again if we ran out of options. Would it be life or death that awaited us on the other side? It didn’t matter either way. If both of us wound up in that state of mind, that’s what we would be doing. I had passed those crossroads several times so far. Each time I thought that it would be the same either way, so I simply came up with a reason and picked a path to go with it. Was I right or wrong? The fact of the matter was that I wouldn’t be able to answer that even if I tried. All I could do was continue walking. What drove me to despair most was the hole in the ceiling. The crevasse. Sure, it was connected to the surface, but we had no means of scaling the walls of ice.

“You’re allowed to complain, you know.”

“If I talk, the warm air inside of me will come oooouuut, uuugh!” Kyrie crouched down with a strange groan, and started rubbing her legs.

Just then, a gust of wind blew. Pushed by the wind from behind, Kyrie nearly fell over, and I took a half step forward.

“That one just now was pretty big, huh.”

“Hey, is it still blowing?”

Though the first gust had subsided, a breeze certainly continued.

“It’s from the hole in the ceiling, right?”

“It’s not a matter of where it’s coming from, but where it’s going, isn’t it?” Kyrie stood up, and started walking. “There has to be an opening for the wind to escape from over there.”

We started walking, feeling the wind of hope at our backs.

* *

“The storm is picking up again,” Tseng said, overlooking the snowfield.

“…What should we do?” Reno listened with an uninterested expression.

“Elena and I will return to Under Junon. We’ll start again from there. Come with us, Rude. We’ll drop you off at Healen.”


“Helicopter 3 is there. You can come back with that to pick up Reno and the others.”

Reno and Rude looked suspiciously at their boss.

“You were gonna stay and look for him anyway, right?”

Tseng spotted the figures of Doyle and Leslie ahead of him, walking through the snowfield with a long rope they had gotten from somewhere.

* *

We walked for about an hour, feeling the wind on our backs. There was a hole leading to the lifestream, similar to those we had seen several times before. Past the hole, the path turned into a gentle incline. I was filled with the hope that we might be able to reach the surface if we climbed up. However, perhaps our climb had taken us away from the underground light source. It had become considerably darker all around us.

“Oh.” Kyrie, who had gone ahead of me, made a sound and stopped.

I rushed to catch up to Kyrie.

“Looks like it’s a dead end.” She sounded disappointed.

I discovered that the path came to an end fifty metres ahead. There was a hole in the ceiling. That was probably where the wind was escaping from. It wasn’t as if we could become the wind.

“Let’s go back.” Being here made me feel like I was going to lose what little hope I had left in me.

“Evan, look.” At the wall of ice in the corner where Kyrie was pointing there was something strange. I counted twelve of them. The darkness made it hard to tell, but there lay twelve black things, about the size of humans.

“Wanna go take a look?


We started to walk cautiously toward the corner.

The black, human-sized things that lay there were exactly that. They were corpses of people wearing black, hooded robes. There were men, women, and even children.

“People dressed in black…”

I had heard of them.

Oh yeah. The landlady at Icicle Inn had mentioned it. “They’re the people my mother went after. The ones she was trying to protect.”

“She’s so beautiful.”

“I’m sure… it’s because of the cold.”


I said, “Yeah?” while turning my eyes away from the bodies to look at Kyrie.

With her eyes still fixed further ahead, she reached out towards me and grabbed my arm. I followed Kyrie’s gaze. I squinted my eyes, and peered into the darkness.

In the innermost corner was my mother. She was wearing the same red down jacket as Kyrie. She sat with her back against the wall, and knees drawn to her body. Her left hand was around her knees and her right hand lay limply on the ground.


It looked like she was just sleeping. Kyrie pulled my hand, and started to run. Even as my arm became fully extended, I didn’t budge.


I didn’t answer, all I could do was shake my head.

“You okay with this?”


“You can’t be okay with this!”


“Mind if I go see her first?”


When I didn’t respond, Kyrie slowly approached my mother. Then she crouched down in front of her. “Nice to meet you, Evan’s mother. I’m Kyrie Canaan.” When Kyrie finished her greeting, she touched my mother’s right wrist, which was drooping to the floor. A few seconds later, she sighed heavily.

Unable to bear the sight any longer, I cast my eyes downwards. My heart ached when I thought about when my mother came here. She must have fallen into the crevasse and wandered around before eventually arriving here in despair.

Did she quietly wait for death here?

“This…” Before I knew it, Kyrie came back, and held out an envelope.

It had the Shin-Ra Company logo printed on it. It was addressed to Nick Foley in my mother’s handwriting. When I tore the seal, there were a couple pieces of paper folded inside.

* *

Shin-Ra Company, Operations Department Nibelheim Response Office Chief, Mr. Nick Foley

I am reporting on five of the subjects who errantly strayed from Nibelheim and headed for the north, whom I have secured. Note that all were deceased upon their discovery.

Kaitlin Starks
Edmond Starks
Trevor Shaun
Ezra Monty
Ian Meadows

End of list.

They have been secured beneath the snowfield, north of Icicle Inn. The area beneath the snowfield is labyrinthine in nature, and each of the bodies was located in a different place. It is unclear how they arrived at this place. In addition, the whereabouts of Rick Fergus, Lisa Tutti and Senna York are currently unknown. I have also found the bodies of seven people, who seem to be subjects, during my search. It is believed that they came from places other than Nibelheim.

End of report.

Fourth Colonization Corps #005 Annette Townsend

* *

To Mr. Nick Foley,

This is addressed to you, Nick, as a friend. I abandoned my duty once. As a result, I may have let those people die. But it’s unprecedented for those people to leave Nibelheim, isn’t it? I believe I did the best I could as their caretaker. I beg that you ensure the money gets passed to Evan. I feel ashamed for always talking about money, but I truly need this. I appreciate your assistance in this matter.

* *

I rushed to my mother, and hugged her close. She felt much smaller than the mother I had remembered. She looked beautiful, as if she were alive. Her blonde hair began to thaw and was soft against my cheek.

“Evan?” As Kyrie called me from behind, I looked back.

“There’s another piece. It was in her jacket pocket.”

I took it, sat down next to my mother, and started reading.

『Dear mom, it’s been about 10 days since Meteor disappeared. At noon every day, I will stand at the station in the slums for just one hour. I’ll also try to be at the station as much as possible at any other time. Evan.』

It was the note that I left at my house two years ago. I pressed the note against my face trying to contain the wave of regret that swept over me.

“There’s something on the back, too…” Kyrie said, sitting next to me.

I flipped the note over. Unlike the letter addressed to Nick, the words were written faintly and tended to fall into disorder.

* *

Dear Evan,

First of all, the most important thing. You still remember when you had the heart surgery, right? That surgery was a success, but then, a hematoma was discovered in your head. It was something that would grow bigger as you aged, and would soon take your life. Surgery was needed as soon as possible, but I couldn’t get the money together and ended up letting so much time pass by. I’m truly sorry for that. But with the money in the house and the money I get from this job, you should be able to have the operation. I’ve repeatedly urged Nick regarding this matter, so I’m sure it will be alright. I know you don’t like Nick, but do bear with him. There’s a doctor called Dr. Dimitri in Junon. I met him recently and persistently asked him for this as well. Make sure to have the surgery done, okay?

Next, here’s just a bit about me. I’ve kept this a secret, but when I was younger, I worked for the Shinra Company. I was the President’s Secretary. It was a sought-after job for a girl back then. I got carried away in my elation. And I did something very stupid. Even though I knew it was stupid, I couldn’t stop myself. When it came to an end, I fell into despair, and thought I was ready to die. But I was blessed with you. I was able to get back on my feet because of you. Thank you, Evan. I can’t appreciate you enough.

I think I can still write a little more. I have a request for you. There are a few people who have helped me a lot. Please give them my thanks if you happen to meet them. Vincent Valentine. When I returned to Midgar from Icicle Inn, he helped me. Cid Highwind and Barret Wallace. When I came to Icicle Inn from Midgar, they took care of me.

Hey, Evan. You probably won’t get to read this letter. But I couldn’t help writing it, just in case. There is something your mother has learned through this “adventure”. This world is full of goodness. It was thanks to that goodness that someone as naive as me was able to make this journey. That same goodness will bring this letter to you. I just know it. See you soon. Good night.

Good-bye, Evan.

* *

I heard Kyrie sobbing. I wouldn’t cry. I didn’t want to cry in front of my mother.

“Let’s go, Kyrie. We’re gonna live.”


Kyrie got up slowly, then I stood up. I looked at my mother again, thinking that this was it. Then, I noticed that below the chest area of my mother’s jacket there was an odd bulge. I crouched down, and lowered the zipper of the jacket. She was wearing a yellow sweater underneath. At her stomach, I found a package wrapped in a checkered handkerchief. The handkerchief looked familiar. It was one that my mother used often. I reached out to pick it up.

“It’s warm.”


“I don’t know.”

I didn’t really know why, but I wondered if it kept my mother warm until the end.

“Mom, I’m borrowing this.”

So that the one most important to me wouldn’t freeze. I took the wrapped parcel from the jacket, and handed it to Kyrie.

“Are you sure?” Kyrie hesitated.

“It’s kinda creepy since you don’t know what it is, I guess.”

“Don’t say that.”

I smiled at Kyrie, who protested, and started walking. I told myself I wouldn’t turn around again.

“Found ya.” I heard a voice immediately behind me.

The moment I heard that voice, I became filled with rage. From the bottom of my heart, I thought it was unacceptable for such a black stain to exist in the world my mother said was full of goodness. I turned around and immediately threw a punch at the owner of the voice. The first shot connected with the cheek of my opponent. I was met with a sensation I had never felt before.

The boy staggered back with a surprised look, and fell down.

“What do you want with us?!”

“The feelings you have for your mother… for each other… for your friends…” The boy’s face twisted – like he was about to cry, perhaps – as he strained to get the words out. As I thought that, he stood up like a wild animal and from the air – from thin air – he pulled out a sword. “I just can’t stand you guys.”

“Evan, get away from him.” Kyrie, took me by the hand, and started running.

“You can’t escape.”

We kept running. We had to run carefully so as not to slip on the ice. On top of that, I could see no way for us to escape, either. We just ran and ran. Before long, I could see a hole leading to the lifestream.

“Kyrie, let’s jump in. The lifestream will protect us.” That had to be the source of all that was good. I was sure of it.

“Ah!” Kyrie was about to fall. She flailed her hands and feet around like she was doing a dance. As Kyrie fell, the checked handkerchief came loose, and the contents flew out and fell to the ground.

Just as I rushed to Kyrie to help her…

“Evan, look.” Kyrie pointed at the contents of the package that slid slowly onto the ground.

I looked and saw what appeared to be a weird piece of dried up flesh… It had to be the mummy that I had seen in the the photograph.

“There’s no use trying to esca—” The voice coming from behind us stopped part way.

When I turned around, I saw he was looking at the mummy. The mummified remains of Jenova.

“Mother… MOTHER!?” The boy stumbled towards the lifestream.

I rushed to the piece of the monster lying there, and kicked it toward the hole in the ground. It rolled, as intended, and fell into the hole.

“What have you done!?” The boy slipped through us – literally slipped through us – and chased after Jenova.

Jenova floated on the surface of the water for a moment, but soon sank.

“MOTHER!” the boy screamed, and dived into the water. “Ugh!” A look of agony spread across the boy’s face. He had been submerged up to his chest, and struggled to get out of the hole.

I approached, and kicked his shoulder. “Disappear!”

The boy glared at me with a terrifying look. Just then, the water around him started bubbling up, and completely covered the boy’s body, as if it was alive.

“You…” The water on the boy’s face and hair shone white and occasionally green – he was being covered with the lifestream. Before long, the boy was engulfed in light, and his body began to give off tiny particles of light, like he was evaporating. “I swear… I’ll become stronger… I swear…”

I’ll be back. That’s probably what he meant to say. But without finishing saying it, he dispersed into particles of light, and disappeared. The light drifted up to the ceiling, brightly illuminating our surroundings, and then faded like embers.

“We did it…”

“Yeah. But I kinda feel sorry for him.”

“If you say something like that, he’ll come back again. I’m sure he was… a lonely person.” I, too, knew what it felt like to be someone searching for their mother. You became drawn to kindness and gentleness. I was accepted by others. That’s how I was able to change. He had nothing, Perhaps that was all that set us apart.

“Hey, Evan. I was thinking, how were you planning on defeating that guy?”

I was thankful Kyrie hadn’t asked that until now. This was because it sounded so ridiculous when I put it into words that even I was shocked.

“I figured the lifestream would take care of things that were too much for us humans to handle.”

* *

The situation hadn’t changed all that much. All we could do was walk around. The only difference now, was the fact that we had stopped looking at the holes in the ground entirely, and began calling for help whenever we came across a hole in the ceiling.



We alternated, and shouted together from time to time.



Then, when we did the same thing again at the fifth hole, it happened.

“Evan!?” Unbelievably, I heard Leslie’s voice.

“I’m here, too!”

“Just stay right there!” It was the voice of the Mayor.

“We did it.” Kyrie and I exchanged glances, and hugged each other tightly.

“Hey, get a room.” It was Reno’s voice.

Kyrie and I separated, and looked up at the hole in the ceiling.

“Over here, yo.”

As I looked, Reno was leaning against a wall a few metres away, watching us.

He took a deep breath, and exhaled. His breath was white. “Man, it’s cold.”

“Whose fault is that?” As soon as Kyrie asked, we pointed at Reno, and Reno pointed straight back at us with both hands.