Author's Note: A snippet of backstory to my Love Her and Despair AU. All you need to know is that in this alternate future, Yevon survived under new maesters.
Blitzball was a worse blasphemy than machina.
Maester Lucil would never say it. She understood that blitzball took people's minds off Sin. During the game, they did not mourn loved ones. They did not rue Lady Yuna's sacrifice. They did not remember the Crusaders fighting and dying to keep them safe.
She remembered, but she could not fight, not since the accident. Lucil had become a new Kinoc, waiting in safety while her troops rode into danger on her command. Elma said her leadership mattered more than her sword, but that galled, too.
A cheer went up from the stadium. She turned her back on it, gripping a cane instead of a weapon.
Her new headquarters overlooked the Highroad she had patrolled for years. From her balcony, she watched her knights come and go. One had just arrived. She waited for footsteps on the stair, a cleared throat. "General?"
Bracing against the balustrade to conceal infirmity, she turned.
"Ma'am." The cadet saluted. "We saved the caravan— no casualties. There's an ochu nest on the Oldroad. The captain's leading a squad against them tomorrow."
"Very good, Taro. Tell her..."
"Good work," Lucil said, smoothing over her slip. Gloved fingers tightened. "Carry on."
He saluted and went below.
Ochu. Elma could handle them. She had a strong arm, a sure seat.
So had Lucil, once.
Elma was her sword. Lucil would not shield her by keeping her sheathed in Luca. If Lucil was unwilling to send her into danger, she should not risk soldiers, either. It was all that separated her from Kinoc.
That, and a blasphemy discreetly hidden in public. But at least it ensured she weighed each mission's cost. She could not prize anything above her troops' welfare, not even the sight of one red-clad rider returning home.