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Shades is a one-shot, canon story in the Clouded Horizons series' Eighth Realm. The story takes place at an undetermined time after Destine's defeat, and features Ben having a discussion with Manes about their reason for existence.


Two figures.

One dressed in blue and white, trusted by those who know him.

Another dressed in black and white, unknown to all but a few.

Exact opposites in every way...yet more like each other than they will ever admit.

“You always said I didn’t have it in me to be a hero.”

“As if you ever will.”

The figure in blue chuckles.

“What if you’re right?”

“Admitting defeat?”

“Admitting the facts. I do a lot of things...I try to protect, keep people out of harm’s way...but if you really stop to think about it? How many times have I ended up doing the exact opposite without realizing it until it was too late?”

“Doesn’t sound very heroic, does it?”

“Maybe. But if I’m not a hero, I’m even less a villain. That’s your job...and why? Just why do you do what you do?”

“It’s who I am. I’m everything you hate about yourself...everything you’re not. Everything you strove not to be...I am. I’m your anti-existence. You know that.”

The figure in black smirks. The figure in blue remains calm.

“I know why you exist. You exist to make me miserable. That’s a given. But...where do we fit in? We’re certainly not perfectly good...but we’re not evil.”

“There is no place. We merely exist.”

“All existence has meaning. And yet you claim ours doesn’t?”

A scoff from the figure in black.

“Ask yourself this. You stop a hundred villains. You stop a million villains. Then you die. Have you really saved anything at all? Does your existence have meaning past the surface? Good and evil are eternal. It’s a simple fact. We’re both merely pawns in the eternal struggle.”

The figure in blue smiles.

“You’ve just proven that our existence has meaning.”

“Enlighten me, then.”

“We may be pawns. I could kill a million villains and more would come. You’re right about that. But I can feel better about the fact that I tried. The reason I’m here may be as simple as making sure someone doesn’t fall from a second story building and die. It may be saving the entire universe. The reason I exist is to find out. We make our own paths. If it means being a mix of good and evil...then that’s it. That’s existence. Like it or not, it’s who we are.”

The figure in black nods, strangely calm.

“For once, you may have a point.”

The figure in blue smirks.

“Your turn to admit defeat.”

“First time for everything.”

The figure in blue turns away, his face shifting back to a calm expression.

“I never thought I would say this...but thanks. Somehow, this made me feel better.”

“I wouldn’t get used to it.”

Another smile from the figure in blue.

“Of course. That would be too easy.”

Nothing more is said, as both figures simply vanish without a trace.


v · e
Clouded Horizons
1st Realm - 2nd Realm - 3rd Realm - 4th Realm - 5th Realm - 6th Realm - 7th Realm - 8th Realm - 9th Realm - 10th Realm
Canon Stories
Final Fantasy X: Destiny's Call - Final Fantasy X-2: Eternal Requiem - Final Fantasy VIII: Dimensional Legend - Final Fantasy IX: Runic Legacy - Clouded Horizons: Halcyon - A Question of Honor - Affinity - Breakfast at Powell's - Casualties - Duty - Family Rites - Foreshadow of Memory - Guardian - The Heiress - Judgment - Memoirs - Nature - Negotiations - Of Thieves and Emissaries - Origins - Ought - Sanctuary - Shades - Subtleties of Honor - Trial by Fire
The Balance - Crystal Path - Diviner - Planeswalker
Character Themes - Jazz Café - Lore - Soundtracks - Tropes
Project Creators / Administrators
Darius DeValle - Benji Powell - Daniel Rydell
v · e
Raj Ahten - Rubedo Alaberti - Seifer Almasy - James Alnon - Celes Chére - Locke Cole - Rachel Colleigh - Silvia Conrad - Katal Corelia - Maya D'Angelo - Darius DeValle Jr. - Darius DeValle Sr. - Katanas DeValle - Revolver DeValle - Melisse Doctus - Aiva Furello - Lindsey Geneave - Isamu Hashimoto - Maria Hiraki - Brian Houghton - Naoki Ishida - Juliett Jareau - Lenne Kaibara - Yuna Kaname - Rikku Katsuragi - Cid Kramer - Tetsuya Kurabasa - Uriko Kurabasa - Yuki Kurabasa - Tidus Kuroda - Squall Leonhart - Daniel Margulis - Leon Masters - Sarek Matthews - Carlos Milagros - Shuyin Mishima - Alexander Munro - Laurel Murphy - Alidar Nox - Jarok Nox - Benji Powell - Sumiko Remiere - Hikari Tanaka - Takomashi U'dashika - Xu Xucai - Paine Zaraki
Vayash Moru
Liam Bayloh
Serene Elmirae - Miyuki Itsumi - Seijin Matsumoto - Shigeru Matsura - Ryou "Haseo" Misaki - Chieko Murakami - Shino Nanao - Saori Oshima - Kouji Shibara - Maria Takahashi - Dmitri Yuriev
Andréa Beoulve - Ein Beoulve - Etchel Beoulve - Kari Inihara - Fia Nelcas - Cierra Olivier - Ledah Rozwelli - Malice Ructor - Lina U'noei
Cencididore Ancules - Ulquiorra Cifer - Antonio Devega - Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez - Manes - Ventaro Musiklaro - Nokadama Sevenelia Phinarus - Shawlong Qufang - Yuriel Reman - Jymallius Stonstri - Shiromieka Sureya - Xeria - Chika Yasoru
Alva Vincent - Destine, Pillar of Probability - Fayt, Pillar of Predestination - Hyne, Pillar of Finalé - Kisara - Mai Kuroki - Kitaras Nicholai - Arragious Nicholai - Odin - Will, Pillar of Foretelling - Xeios
Aizen Sosuke - Lukälius diVanégo - Erasmus - Freya Vanadis - Wilhelm
Mortal Plane - Ethereal Plane - Nether Plane - Soul Plane
Akatosh Chantry - Balamb Garden - Conrad Synthetics - The Eighteen - Espada - Esthar Garden - Estharian Presidential Guard - Executive Outcomes - Gilead Order - Order of Grim Angels - House DeValle - Royal Thieves Guild - Scientia - Trabia Garden - Videlic Arms - Vector Industries
Professions - Magic - Lore