On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Tifa

Based on Xcomp’s translation of the original “Case of Tifa”, forum member Danna has supplied a translation of the revised version of Tifa’s story, “Episode:Tifa”, which was released as part of the On the Way to a Smile novella. The changes have been put in bold for the readers to see. Big thanks to both Danna and Xcomp for their hard work.


Tifa walked the last customer out of her store before returning inside to clean up in the galley. The room was dimly lit, with minimal but adequate lighting. No one else was there besides Tifa. Just days ago, she was working so much that all her bitterness disappeared as she watched families come and go. But now, the water was cold and she wasn’t getting anywhere with all the dirty tableware. Tifa tried turning on all the lights that illuminated the store to try and change the atmosphere. For a brief moment, the store lit up, but due to the instability of the electricity supply, it became dimly lit again. A surge of uneasiness came over her. She wondered if she was all alone in the house. As the thought crossed her mind, she couldn’t stand it, and she called out a girl’s name.


Before long, soft footsteps could be heard from the children’s room deep inside the store, and Marlene appeared.

“Ssssh.” She put her finger to her lips and frowned. Tifa apologized but was relieved.

“Denzel’s finally fell asleep.”

“Was he in pain?”


“You could have given me a shout.”

“Denzel didn’t let me.”

“I see…” Tifa looked as if she was blaming herself for not paying attention to the children.

“So, what’s wrong?”

“Hmmm… What do you mean?” Tifa answered, trying to hide her feelings. Marlene looked around the store, where only Tifa and her stood.

“Did you get lonely?” This little girl saw through everything. “I won’t be going anywhere.”

“Thanks. You should sleep soon too.”

“I was just about to sleep!”


Tifa stopped washing and followed Marlene. Her parents already died and she was brought up by her father’s closest friend, Barret. Ever since Tifa met Barret and got along with him, she found out about half of Marlene’s life. That was why she naturally ended up being the one taking care of Marlene when Barret decided he would go on a journey to settle his past.

In the children’s room were two beds lined up to one another. There, Denzel was lying sound asleep. The Geostigma scar on the eight-year-old’s forehead looked painful. Denzel was suffering, as the illness couldn’t be healed and his condition wasn’t improving. Tifa wiped away the pus from the mark on his forehead; Denzel grimaced a little but continued to sleep. Marlene, who watched over Denzel, went to her own bed afterwards and called out Tifa’s name.

“We’re here with you but you’re still lonely, aren’t you?”

“…I’m sorry,” Tifa answered honestly.

“It’s ok. We’re the same.”

“I see.”

“I wonder where Cloud is.”

Tifa didn’t know and put her hand on her neck. Cloud was in Midgar somewhere. She imagined how the worst could have happened as he was caught in an accident where he went to work or he was being attacked by some monster.

But she soon found out that he was still out there on jobs. There were people who had seen him. He just left the house, that’s all. Tifa was trying to convince the children that there were no problems, but she lost her composure and the children soon realized something was wrong.

“Why did he leave?”

I didn’t know. Maybe all kinds of problems had cropped up. But Tifa remembered Cloud’s last smile. It had the kindness that made her think everything was fine. I wonder if I was mistaken.

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