On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Nanaki

Separating with Yuffie, Nanaki wandered around the world just as he said. When he encountered other beasts, he would wonder if he could live with them somehow. And when he met humans, he would take the initiative to talk to them. He felt that he should learn the truth from everything—whether it was right or wrong. With that, the number of names within Nanaki’s memories increased. Kira Kira, Dolly Thief, Kai, Kumo Nagare, Love, Cries of the Trees—he gave every precious experience that would sometimes bring pain with them a name.

Within those fulfilling days, there was one thing that worried him. Gilligan reappeared as he spent the days alone. It seemed it was growing bigger as the days passed by. Surely it was because the more you experience, the more you had to lose. That was why Gilligan was growing bigger, thought Nanaki.

Gilligan’s true identity was the fear of loss. Nanaki was sure he wouldn’t be afraid of it if he knew what it was. Regardless, he still found himself trembling and it took a longer time than he did before to recover.

Why? thought Nanaki. Soon, he began to think whether he had mistaken Gilligan’s true nature. He began to think over what Gilligan was again. It was fear that spread and froze his heart. There was no doubt about that. But he didn’t know what was the true cause of that fear.

* * *

“Gilligan huh.”

After a long time, Nanaki had reunited with Vincent again near the small lake in the Forgotten City who murmurred as he talked.

“I know something about it.”

“What? Can you tell me more?”

Nanaki pressed Vincent on.

“One day you will most certainly experience loss. You will be sad and imagining that moment is because of fear. However—it’s something you can laugh at —you’ll get used to it.”

“Hmmm—You maybe right.”

“Gilligan came from the far distant future. The future you are unconsciously afraid of.”


“It knows everything about you. Imagine the moment that you will lose everything that only you have experienced, seen and named. There is nothing else that shares all that with you.”


Nanaki imagined. That moment, Gilligan began to appear again. Nanaki endured the trembling and recalled everything. Then he imagined himself running up the high grounds that overlooked Midgar. Beyond that, he saw Midgar covered by plants that he didn’t even know the name of. There was the presence of humans.

However, there was no one he knew. Maybe if he went there and talked to people they would show concern and listen to him. But no one would say, “Ah yes, so that’s how it’s been for you.”

“I’m all alone.”

Nanaki said as he trembled.

“I have such a long lifespan that one day I will experience loneliness—It’s my fear of being lonely. Is that what Gilligan is?”

“I call it exhaustion from over-anxiety.”

“Don’t make fun of it!”

Smiling at the anger Nanaki showed, Vincent replied back.

“Then imagine this. You won’t become lonely. You may even have children.”

“Me have children? I just can’t imagine that. I can only imagine the Nibel bears.”

“Then how about this? Every year you visit Midgar once. There, I will be waiting. And I will be listening to your worthless stories as if I have no interest in them at all.”

Nanaki thought of that. Vincent’s solemn face appeared. And the trembling stopped. It seemed Gilligan had disappeared.

“Looks like you’ve stopped trembling.”

“Yes. But one day, even you Vincent will—”

“That day will never come. I am immortal. Whether that is fortunate or misfortunate for me.”


Nanaki thought about the loneliness that wrapped itself around Vincent. Even though he may have a long lifespan, one day he will die. But Vincent he—

“Hey. While I’m still alive, be sure to meet every so often so we can talk.”

Vincent looked at Nanaki as if troubled and began to speak.

“Just once a year. You’ll have to pardon me if you want to meet any more often than that.”

Saying that, Vincent hung his head and buried his face in his mantle. His shoulders were shaking a bit. It was the first time Nanaki saw Vincent laughing.

“Gilligan. Gilligan did you say?”

“Heh. Laugh all you want.”

“If you’ll excuse me.”

Vincent raised his voice and laughed. At first, Nanaki stayed quiet but before long he too laughed.

The last time laughter filled the Forgotten City was during the Cetra Age but now, it rang throughout the air once again.

Episode:Nanaki, End.

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