On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Nanaki

Vincent didn’t talk much but, it seems he has been living a life travelling where he felt appropriate. He said he was waiting for something to happen as if it was self-derision. During his travels, he coincidentally saw the Turk’s helicopter and followed it, arriving at the village afterwards. It was where the helicopter stopped too. Elena from the Turks was seeking something and had gone into the forest with the hunters. Not long afterwards, she returned carrying a wounded boy and at night, two Nibel bears appeared. There was a lot panic amongst the hunters but they shot and killed the bears. After obtaining what she was after, Elena left in the helicopter. Just when Vincent was about to leave for some place he didn’t know, Nanaki arrived. He heard the hunters firing their guns and Nanaki breaking into one of the huts. When he came to see what was happening—

“You had a hunter pressed down and was about to bite into his throat. A boy was crying and saying something about being friends. I don’t know what happened to you. But when I looked at you, you weren’t the Nanaki I know. You were like a beast attacking humans. That’s why I fired.”

After shooting Nanaki, there was confusion and knowing that it was a dangerous situation for the hunters to possess guns, he forced them out of the hut. He then bid them goodbye.

“I gave them a little scare. I transformed.”

After that, Vincent treated the unconscious Nanaki and waited.

Nanaki looked around the inside of the room. There was blood all over the floor here and there.

“Did I kill someone?”


“I see. I’m glad.”

There was a moment of silence between them. Nanaki tried to get up to look outside.He struggled but he managed to stand up somehow. Vincent began talking again as if he remembered something.

“They took away the bears that were outside. Maybe I should have stopped them?”

“No. They will probably be of use. It’s the rules of the forest. No, perhaps it’s the rules outside the forest? Vincent. I just don’t understand any more. I just don’t.”

“I don’t mind listening.”

Hearing those words, Nanaki began to talk as Vincent remained silent. He told him all about what happened from the ear piercing “Geee! Geee!” baby bears to the point he reunited with Vincent.

“What should I have done?”

Vincent stayed silent. Just as Nanaki thought he wouldn’t get an answer, he said.

“In my opinion. When you recall these past events again—You’ll have an answer. But when you think about them again, the answer maybe different. There is an answer but there isn’t only one. You should just continue living to think about it.”

What’s important is that you don’t forget about these events, said Vincent.


Nanaki felt as if he half understood and half didn’t. His feelings were half and half.

“Maybe you will understand if I told you this,” Vincent added as if he saw right through Nanaki’s mind. “What you thought was good that time was one hundred percent wrong. All wrong.”

“That doesn’t tell me what I should do. No matter how much I think about it, I just can’t decide what the correct course of action should be.”

“That’s just it,” Vincent said standing up as if that was all he had to say. He then went on as if he remembered, “You can also choose not to do anything. I have chosen that way once.”

“How did it turn out?”

“It may have been best for my retribution.”

Vincent’s mantle flailed dramatically as he turned and left the hut. Nanaki hastily got up and followed.

It appeared Vincent was going east. But before long he entered a secluded wasteland that was just off the road.

“Where are you going?”

“What are you going to do if I told you?”

“Can’t I come with you?”


“Because—” I long for the company of others, thought Nanaki. I want to be with someone. They were at the end of the wasteland—the two of them were walking underneath a cliff that was about the height of a small building—and he didn’t want to be left alone.

“Your answer is one hundred percent wrong.”

Vincent casually made his way up as if he was going to jump.


But it was too late. He could no longer see the red mantle or hear an answer.

“—You maybe wrong too, Vincent.”

As he shouted that after Vincent, he realised something. No matter who was right or whether you think about what you should have done or not, worrying yourself was meaningless. The past can’t be changed and what lies before you is only the future. What was important was that you never forget and keep thinking about it. If you do that, perhaps you will find an answer. And once you find it, it maybe of use to you. That was all there is to it. It’s a very small matter compared to the days of life. Neither I, Pazu or Rin had any worries when we were in the forest. The days there were fun.

Nanaki lay down as if he was trying to get closer to the cliff and thought back over everything that happened in the forest. He remembered how bad the brothers’ sleeping posture were even though they were beasts. Then the time when Pazu was drowning in the spring. Rin who fell from a tree. The first fish the two brothers caught. They ate it all in an instant. Nanaki smiled. But his tears wouldn’t stop. Farewell. Beast world. Nanaki got up and began to walk east. After walking for a moment, he changed his mind and turned north.

* * *

Cid seemed to be busy developing a new airship in Rocket Town. Even so, he told the wound covered Nanaki that he should rest well and heal up. Nanaki spent his time gazing at the airship that was close to completion from afar so that he wouldn’t get in the way of others. Nanaki was surprised that it has almost been two years since he lived with the Nibel bears in the forest. Even Cid too was surprised that it’s been two years since they last met. Living a fulfilling life makes you forget about the flow of time.

One day, Cid was in a very good mood because the airship had been completed and he invited Nanaki for a test flight. Nanaki happily went for the ride.

“If it falls then that’ll be that. Don’t hate me for it ya hear,” said Cid.

That’ll be that. That’s a good saying, thought Nanaki.

When flying in the sky, everyone will realise what a small place the world is. To Nanaki who travelled around the land, it was even more so. I must thank Cid for giving me the chance of this special privilege to see the world from this point of view, thought Nanaki. This is the world that I will be spending a few hundred years in or even more. There are still many things about life that I don’t know about yet. I’m sure there are many things that I should see and know. It was an everyday thing that he would lose his way in the vast lands and feel bewildered. But he knew the world wasn’t such a big place now. That little piece of knowledge gave him the courage to know that it wasn’t impossible to learn about everything.

“The world’s waiting for me.”

“What did ya say? Quit exaggerating— Huh? Hey, hey! Look over there— “

“What’s wrong?”

“Look. It’s Yuffie. What the hell is she doing out here?”

Nanaki was a little guilty reuniting with Yuffie. After Yuffie had told him to go gather information regarding the illness, he hasn’t done anything. He tried to hide his guilt by acting cheerfully. Soon, Cid flew off leaving Yuffie and Nanaki alone. Of course, Yuffie said what she would always say and that was to go look for materia together. She hasn’t changed since the last time he met her. That time, he was angry at the friend named Yuri she was carrying and had told her the materia she wanted didn’t exist out of anger. But he felt different about it this time. He felt fully confident that there was no materia to cure the Midgar illness—Or “Geostigma” which he learned it was called in Rocket Town.

If Yuffie’s been searching during all that time he was in the forest and never found any cure then, it really doesn’t exist. When he told Yuffie that’s what he believed, she looked at him with a sad face.

“I’m sorry. I’ll help you look,” promised Nanaki.

* * *

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