On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Yuffie

It’s had only been two days since they left Wutai. But outside of the town, they saw a small hut had been built. It was small but it had room to accomodate ten people.

“I wonder what that’s for. Alright! Go investigate, Nanaki!”

“What? Why me?”

Nanaki looked at Yuffie displeased but turned and hastily sprinted over when she pretended she was about to ping his nose again.

“It must have really hurt,” Yuri said laughing. He seemed well other than his way of thinking. We might be able to heal the Midgar disease if Nanaki and I can keep this up and make him laugh.

Not long afterwards, Nanaki returned.

“Four people with the Midgar disease are gathered in there.”

Yuffie and Yuri looked at each other as they heard his words.

“Yuri, get on,” urged Nanaki. Without waiting for Yuri to struggle onto Nanaki’s back, Yuffie ran off.

As she reached the small hut, she tried to find a window. When she finally found a small one, she peeked inside and saw four patients inside just as Nanaki said.

“What’s going on here?” Yuffie turned round to ask Nanaki.

“I think they were forced out of the village because they have the disease—”

“And that’s why they took the time to build a small hut like this?”

She ran off again, circling around the hut and found the entrance.

“Wait, Yuffie!”

Yuffie ignored Nanaki who tried to stop her and went inside.

“This is horrible! Horrible!” said Yuffie to no one in particular.

“Oh, it’s you Yuffie. It’s been so long. But what are you angry about?” One of the patients said in a calm voice. She immediately knew who it was because it sounded like Yuri’s mother.

“You all got forced out of the village because you’re ill. That’s horrible!”

She understood the reasoning behind such actions but she couldn’t accept it.

“But it can’t be helped. The diseased have to be quarantined, ” replied Yuri’s mother still with her calm voice.


“But” was the only word Yuffie could say.

“I’m glad they made a place for me,” said Yuri as if putting on an act.

“Are you sure? Are you really sure?”

“For now. I’ll just have to bear with it until you find a cure, Yuffie.”

What if I can’t find a cure?—She just couldn’t bring herself to say it.

“Ah—, the grave responsibility!”

* * *

Yuffie spent around two weeks looking after the patients.The number increased even though the new patients hadn’t been in contact with those that were quarantined.

“It appears the disease isn’t contagious. Even though a quarantine’s been set up, the number of patients are still increasing. In other words, well—I’m sorry, my daughter.”

Even when Godo apologized, Yuffie still didn’t feel any more at ease. She didn’t care about what happened any more. She just wanted to know the cause of it all. She had forced Nanaki to leave the village, ordering him to gather information about the disease. It was possible he would get infected too if he stayed.

“Hey, Yuffie. There’s something I noticed—” said Yuri, “I’ve been thinking about why some people are infected and why others aren’t.”

“You learned something?”

“Yeah. The people here are those who have suffered from another kind of illness before and those who were heavily wounded by the overflowing Lifestream. In other words, they’re all people that think they’re going to die.”


“Yeah, and it’s not just my imagination. It’s the truth. Even I—”

Yuri prevaricated.

“You thought you were going to die? When?”

“At the cave we went to. When I was soaked by that strange water and passed out—Hey!”

Yuri and Yuffie looked at each other.

“That water!?”

Perhaps the water was the cause of all this. Yuffie immediately went around asking the patients. She asked if they had drank or were soaked in some strange water.

However in the end, a clear conclusion couldn’t be made. Everyone noticed the water’s taste had changed after the Lifestream erupted and passed by. They had thought nothing of it because to the people of Wutai who pumped up underground water to use, the taste always changed whenever there was an earthquake. Apart from being soaked in the Lifestream being the cause, they felt they couldn’t eliminate the possibility that the disease was somehow linked to the water and the condition the people were in at the time.

They reported their opinions to Godo.

1. Take care when using water. It is unknown if boiling the water will have any effect but make sure you do so before use.
2. Do not think you are going to die.

* * *

About a year afterwards, Yuffie kept to a routine – Spending two weeks taking care of the patients and two weeks traveling to look for a cure. Taking care of the patients made her feel the rush that she had to find a cure soon and whenever she left the village, she would be worried about them. It was what lead to her routine.

The number of huts had increased to two now. And three children had also caught the disease. They were brothers aged eight, six and four. Yuffie was surprised that children at this age were already thinking they were going to die. However, when she heard that they thought they were all going to be washed away together when they tried to rescue their older brother drowning in the river, she was confident the thoughts she and Yuri had about the disease were correct. Geostigma—that was what it was called around world now—spreading through a suspicious looking kind of water. It enters into the bodies of those who have given up on life or are faint-hearted.

Yuri’s mother was gone. Even so, Yuri swore that he will always smile before Yuffie.

* * *

Almost another year had passed. As Geostigma continued to spread, a cure was still yet to be found. Quite a number of people had the same opinions about the disease as Yuffie and Yuri did but, there were far more people that believed they will get infected as soon as they got into contact with the diseased and because of that, many of those unfortunate victims and their family lived in a life of despair. This increased the chances of the family members gaining the disease too and as a result, gave the people the proof they needed to believe the rumours of infection.

* * *

They were soon going to arrive at Corel. Yuffie noticed the sound of an explosion in the distance. She looked around to find out where it came from and soon looked up to find an enormous airship closing in. Yuffie waved. It was a model she’s never seen before but she was sure it was Cid’s airship.

“Heeey!” She continued waving, jumping many times. But the airship flew overhead. She had heard Cid was building an airship. It wasn’t easy using oil as its fuel instead of mako energy but, perhaps he’s solved the problem now. If she headed west from her current location, she was sure she’ll reach Rocket Town.

Maybe I should go there , she thought but she changed her mind immediately. The airship had turned round. It was a new model that was hovering in the distance so that Yuffie wouldn’t be caught in its thrusters as it slowly landed. Yuffie ran over waving.


The hatch on its body opened up and a a red beast jumped out. Nanaki started running at a powerful pace towards her. Yuffie opened up her arms as if she was ready to greet him with a hug. Nanaki jumped with all his strength. But Yuffie jumped to the side almost immediately and avoided him. Landing on the ground, Nanaki protested.

“Why did you dodge?”

“You’ve grown bigger. I don’t want to be slammed into.”

“I haven’t changed that much.”

“Whatever. You’re not cute either way.”


“Hey, Yuffie!”

Cid caught up with them. He looked exhausted. Or maybe he’s grown thinner.

“Is that a new model?”

“Damn right it is! I completed it somehow. We’re in the middle of a test flight.”

“Looks like it’s going well.”

“You could say that. But there ain’t much fuel left. Just enough to go round half the planet.”

“It doesn’t look like it’s going well.”

“I’m just going to have to place my hopes on that rush-headed Barret. He’s out looking for another place where there’s oil. I already have all the materials and the staff ready to go when he calls but, where on the planet could he be, eh?”

Contrary to what he just said, Cid’s hope seemed to be lower.

“So you met Barret!”

“Yeah. Seems he’s been through quite a bit but he’s well now. So, you want a ride?”


“What the hell? You still haven’t cured your motion sickness yet?”

Can it be cured?
thought Yuffie but she decided it was best if she retorted.

“Why should I get it cured? It’s Yuffie-chan’s only weak point. A girl won’t be loved if she has no weak points.”

“You are nothing but weaknesses so don’t you worry, missy.”

“What is that supposed to mean!”

“Well anyway, I’m not gonna force ya on. Take care on your trip.”

Just as Cid was turning round to return to his airship, Yuffie called out to him as if she remembered something.

“Hey, Cid.”


“There’s materia that can heal Geostigma right?”

Hearing those words, Nanaki looked off into the distance.

“You think there is, don’t you?” said Cid as he looked Yuffie in the eyes.

“Of course!”

Cid gave her the thumb’s up as he heard Yuffie answer him back in a loud voice.

“Then there is!” he nodded.

Yuffie began to think as she watched Cid return to his airship. How troublesome. That’s why the old man’s weird. He knows there’s no proof that any exists. But it was the words I was hoping for.

Soon, the idle sound of the airship’s engines changed to an explosive sound and it was rising high into the air. Its nose turned towards the direction of Rocket Town before it dashed off, no longer visible.

“Haa…” murmurred Nanaki, “I got left behind.”

“I’m still here.”

“Where are you going?”

“The materia cave in the north!”

She couldn’t tell what Nanaki was thinking from his expression. But from his downcast look, she knew there was something he wanted to say. Yuffie leapt quickly onto his back and leaned forward, stretching out her arms around his neck. Letting her wrists cross over together, she gave him a tight squeeze. Nanaki’s front legs gave in.

“It hurts, Yuffie.”

“Tell me! Tell me what you’re thinking!”

“I will. Just let go.”

Yuffie loosened her hold.

“I was just thinking the same thing I did before. Perhaps there is no materia that can heal Geostigma.”

Yuffie stayed quiet and tightened her grip again.

“I said it hurts!”

“Geostigma hurts even more.”


Nanaki nodded slightly and began walking north, letting Yuffie stay on his back.

As Yuffie swayed from side to side, she thought to herself. I‘ve become Yuri and all the patient’s hope by continuing my search for materia. That’s why I can’t quit being a Materia Hunter.

* * *


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