On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Shin-Ra

Translator: Xcomp, aka LH Yeung

At the Ancient Ruins — The mission assigned to Tseng, leader of the Shinra Company’s Department of Administrative Research which was also known as the “Turks”, was to to obtain the ancient stone known as the “Black Materia”. However just moments before that, Sephiroth appeared and severely wounded him, leaving him leaning against the wall close to the verge of death. The bleeding never stopped and he was passing out. Just when he was already prepared to die, Aerith and her friends appeared. They too had arrived at the ruins in pursuit of Sephiroth.

Keeping surveillance over a descendant of the Ancients and looking for opportunities to assist his company at his own discretion has been his duties for a long period of time. Sometimes he would be under pressure by the violent ways of his subordinates but within Shinra Company, they were considered very gentle operations. Once he had tried to control Aerith’s mother by force and lost her as a consequence. This affected Tseng’s principles and made him reflect on his actions.

Aerith was the last descendant of the Ancients in this world. Tseng thought that someone who represented the darker side of his company like him, shouldn’t be getting close to such a majestic existence like her and because of that, the days when he would just watch over her continued.

* * *

The first time Aerith spoke to him was when she was still just a child.

“Thank you for your hardwork as always.”

Tseng was suspicious of the words he just heard from the young girl. Seeing how silent he stayed, Aerith continued.

“You’re protecting me, aren’t you?”

When Tseng thought about his mission, it was probably best to take advantage of this moment. But Tseng went ahead and told her the truth. That very instance in his life was the time he’s been the most honest.

“I’m Tseng from Shinra Company. I have something to speak to you about.”

“I hate Shinra!”

As he watched the back of the young figure run off, Tseng thought it was best this way and was relieved. He thought to himself that even when the day he has to take her away by force, he still won’t be able to lie to her.

Before long after many years and certain events passed, Aerith came into contact with the anti-Shinra group Avalanche and the situation took a sudden change. Tseng became agitated as he couldn’t get a grasp of the situation at hand and because of that he treated Aerith with an attitude of such pretense evil that even his subordinates turned cold towards him. He would always think of what to say to them.

This isn’t pretense evil. To Aerith, Shinra itself is evil. That’s why evil should act like evil—

* * *

As a result, even though he was aware his death was approaching, he chose to approach Aerith as a Turk.

“Damn it. Letting Aerith go was the start of my mistakes.”

Even so, Aerith shed tears for such a Tseng. She didn’t see him as one of the enemies but a friend who she had known since her childhood. Tseng thought to himself that dying through such an unexpected event wasn’t such a bad end but, he could barely make a joke about it.

“I’m not dead yet.”

After Aerith left, Tseng quietly awaited for his death. But it never came. As he started to feel faint, he still couldn’t feel his mind merge with the Lifestream.

It was Reeve who saved Tseng. He controlled an odd little robot cat – riding on a Giant Mog – and appeared before Tseng. Reeve was assigned the mission to spy on Aerith and her party using this robot cat.

“That was close, Mr. Tseng.”

“Where’s the Black Materia?”


There was no answer. The robot stood still as if it had stopped working. However, before long it began speaking again, “Excuse me. I’m controlling both No.1 and No. 2 at the same time – it can be a little difficult.”

“I see.”

Tseng couldn’t understand just how difficult it was but, he waited for Reeve to speak again so that he wasn’t causing any interruptions.

“I’ve handed the Black Materia over to Cloud for the time being. That is a wiser choice than letting Sephiroth have it, yes?”

Cloud. He was linked to everything that has happened so far and was one of the great mysteries that remains to be solved but at the same time, he was a necessity. He’s just a kid, Tseng felt but no matter how much he thought about it, he didn’t know what the outcome will be. In any case, it was best Cloud had the Black Materia to prevent the Ultimate Black Magic, Meteor from being used.

“Cloud has the Black Materia — I see.”

“As for yourself, Mr Tseng — I’ll contact Shinra for you.”


“One more thing— My identity as a spy has been found out but I will be staying with them. They’re quite an interesting bunch. I’m very interested in what they will do. Right, lets get you moved somewhere.”

There was a number of things Tseng wanted to ask but as he was lifted up by the Giant Mog, the pain that struck him knocked him unconscious. He couldn’t remember what happened afterwards.

Three men carried Tseng onto a boat. They were his subordinates once. Why did Reeve contact these people and not the company directly? He never managed to get into contact with these three men. Question after question came to mind but Tseng didn’t have the strength to say anything. A lot of time passed as he blanked out. Eventually he woke up in a small room. Inhaling the distinct air that was mixed with the smell of the tides and rusted metal, he knew he had been taken to Junon. A doctor appeared almost immediately and began his treatment.

* * *

After Tseng left, Aerith died and the Black Materia was handed over to Sephiroth from Cloud. Using the Black Materia, the Ultimate Black Magic Meteor was cast.

It was said that upon impact, everything on the Planet would be gone in three to seven days. The actual results may not have been different but, no one had ever expected it to really happen.

* * *

Midgar, Sector Zero, somewhere close to the Shinra Building—

Constructed rapidly on iron pillars in Sector Eight, was a dangerous canon that was barely transported by air from Junon and was a last resort against Sephiroth. The “Sister Ray”, connected to the dedicated pipelines in Midgar in which Mako energy surged through, was expected to wipe out all enemies including Sephiroth by boosting the power output with a Huge Materia. They aimed it towards him in the distant Northern Crater where he slept. They thought if Sephiroth died, the nightmare that he had summoned in the skies with the Black Materia, would also disappear. If the Planet was no longer threatened, the Weapons would surely return to where they came.

“Theoretically, it’s perfect,” Rude said looking up at the Sister Ray.

“Theoretically? What about non-theoretically?” Reno asked with a serious tone he didn’t usually have.

“It leaves me concerned.”

“Then I’m relieved.”

“What do you mean?” Rude questioned.

“I thought I was the only one worried. Are we seriously going to fire this thing? Don’t we have to test it out first? Will Midgar be alright?”

“Would you be reassured if I said it’ll be alright?”Rude replied to the torrent of questions with a stern tone in his voice.

“Hey, don’t get mad.”

In the end, the Sister Ray never fulfilled their expectations and was turned into a giant piece of scrap. At the same time, the executive floor of the Shinra Building was destroyed under the Weapon’s attack. As a member of the Turks, Rude and Reno were used to seeing the ruins of buildings during their work. However, they felt differently for the Shinra Building. They had little office work and their missions mainly involved travelling around outside so, the Shinra Building was very much like a home they could return to after work. All the tough times they’ve been through together with their comrades, the times when they got scolded by their superior, the times when they would tease the girls while they had nothing to do and get teased back. When they’re out, their “switch” is on and when they’re in the office their switch is “off”. It was the complete opposite of the other office workers but even so, they had some strong feelings for the Shinra Building.

The unrest that lay with Rude and Reno grew stronger after they learned their President had gone missing.

There were many witnesses that saw how the Weapon’s fire struck the executive’s office so they didn’t know if he had really simply gone missing. On top of that, they couldn’t confirm the safety of the rest of the staff because the Shinra Company’s management system was a mess. There were many who had already given up their positions a number of days before the expected day of the Meteor’s impact.

Rude and Reno felt they should confirm the well being of their President and waited for the elevator. The elevators to the executive floors weren’t working so they had to try the regular staff’s elevators.

“This thing isn’t moving.”

“It looks like the emergency lock system was activated.”

“They managed to get that working pretty well.”

“Reno, Rude. Take the stairs.”

The two looked at each other at the sound of the new voice before trying to find out who it was. Before long, they spotted a familiar man with long hair who they hadn’t expected to be here.


They had received reports that Tseng had died several days ago. Elena had acted on her own, pursuing Cloud and his party to the Northern Crater to take revenge. However, she failed and returned to Midgar in a bad state and they remembered how she repeated the word “revenge” like she was under a spell afterwards. In short, every member of the Turks thought Tseng had died.

“What’s wrong?” Tseng asked, looking at the dumbfounded Rude and Reno.

“You’re alive, Chief.”

“As you can see for yourselves. But now isn’t the time to explain.”

“Yeah,” Reno nodded a number of times to show they didn’t need to hear any explanations.


Suddenly, they heard the voice of a young woman. The three turned round and found Elena standing there. The youngest member of the Turks didn’t try to hide how happy she was to find the Chief who she had thought was dead still alive. She suddenly jumped up and gave Tseng a hug.

“Oh come on, Elena. You know I want to do that too,” said Reno.

“No need to hold back, Senpai.”

“I’ll pass.”

Tseng placed a firm hand on Elena’s shoulder and had a good look at his three subordinates.

“—Come on. Time to get to work.”

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