A Square Deal Chapter 2
A Sad Story
Recap: It's Remembrance Day, a day of celebration and reflection of that time not so long ago when the world had come so close to destruction, but had been saved in the nick of time. Edgar has been experiencing disturbing feelings, and Sabin was trying to comfort him. Terra, Cyan, Clyde (Shadow), Relm and Setzer are on the Falcon, and on their way to the Festival in Figaro.
"Dad, you said that you were going to tell your story to Terra," Relm said to her father, the former Shadow.
"Yes, I did," he paused to think of where to start. He sat down in a chair across from Terra and next to Relm, who was feeding Interceptor snacks.
"I guess it would be best to start at the beginning.
I was born in South Figaro thirty-three years ago to Roland and Diane Arrowny. We lived in a little house in the poor sector of town. I lived there until I was 14, and by then, frankly, I was tired of being poor, so I told my parents that I was going off to find a way to make money, and that I would bring them some when I made enough.
So I left, even though my father had told me that I shouldn't, and that I was too young to live on my own, but of course I didn't listen to him, and I went off with a friend of mine named Baram Geiss who was a notable thief. He had told me that he was going to try to go clean if I helped him make some money, and I agreed. We traveled the world, looking for ways to make a GP, but we soon found ourselves flat broke, lost and alone. (By soon, I mean about one month, maybe less.)
So, Baram turned to what was natural, and that was thievery. He said I had potential, so he showed me the tricks of the trade; he was right about my skills of stealth, and I ended up becoming a better thief than he was.
We lived as rogues for three and a half years, and became the notorious thieves known only as "Shadow" because we were so quick and silent that people weren't sure if were were one or many. We were very successful at it until we took the Doma train.
It was carrying about 1 million gold pieces, and it was the biggest job we had ever thought to try. Baram told me that together, we could steal the world if we wished it. We got on the train as a couple of passengers for train did hold about twenty passengers who were all heading to Doma, where the train was going to stop to pick up more passengers, and drop off the money.
We snuck into the engine room, disguised as engineers, and sabotaged the steam engine by putting a blockage into the exhaust system, so that it would overheat and explode. When it did, we took the money in the resulting melee and hopped the train before it de-railed. From what I understood, the train crashed terribly, killing almost all who remained on the train.
The king of Doma, being a powerful and vengeful man, sent out his finest warriors to track us down, and they had us on the run within the week. We had just crossed the ocean to the Thamasa continent, thinking that no one would look for us on that wild land. As we got off of our transport boat, we saw the Doma troops dock up right after, and the troops had already spotted us. We bolted, of course, for we were no match for the Doma knights.
The knights divided into groups in their search, and two of the knights found us, leaving Baram and me no choice but to fight. We held out as best we could, injuring one of the knights, but taking shots ourselves as well. I received a blow to my side by chance, for I tripped on a skinny root from a tree, and he gave me a rather large and moderately deep slash.
Baram saw that happen, and give the knight a slash of about the same caliber that had been dealt to me. Luckily, the knight passed out, and I didn't, but we still had another problem; the other Knight.
I will always remember that knight. He had long, platinum blond hair, and his dark green eyes were filled with contempt; he stood taller than I, and stared at us, waiting for us to run , for he wanted to chase us down before he caught us. I was about to get out of there as fast as I possibly could, but Baram had other things in mind. He tried to fight with the Knight, but I knew that he was no match for such a huge knight. They fought for a while, but Baram received a terrible stab to his chest. The knight was just about to deal Baram his deathblow when I gathered up enough strength to kick the knight from behind and make him fall. Night had fallen during the fight, so I got Baram to his feet, and we hurried off into the shadows of the night.
We kept moving for a couple hours, them Baram stopped. He told me that he wouldn't make it to safety and that he was just slowing me down. He drew his knife, which he had named 'Striker', and told me to do away with him because he did not want to be captured, and if he was, they might torture him into letting them know about my whereabouts.
I, in my cowardice, could not bring myself to kill him, because I thought, if I left the money with him, and let them capture him, he might live. So I told him that I couldn't do it, and he began to get angry at me and yell. I put the money down at his side, but kept a hold on the Striker, and moved on as best as I could. I still don't know what happened to him -- I hope that he did recover, but most of all, I hope that he forgave me.
I went on for the whole night, putting as much distance as I could between the troops and myself. By the next morning, I had come to the conclusion that I would have been better off had I been captured, because I was ready to collapse from loss of blood and exhaustion. But I still kept moving, not really expecting to find anything, my mind running on the instinct of 'flight', being too tired to think about anything else.
I found a town, and would have been surprised that I did, had I not been so tired. I knew that I could rest now, and sat down under a tree. I saw a girl come out of one of the houses, apparently starting her morning chores. I called out as loud as I could, (which was not very loud,) pleading for help. She came closer, being cautious of the disheveled vagrant that I was, and I saw that she looked no older than I was, and very pretty. I asked her where I was, and she said that I was in Thamasa, and came closer when she saw that I didn't look like I was going to be moving. She asked me what was wrong, and moved my arm from over the wound that I was holding, and her eyes widened. She told me to stay put, and that she was going to go and get help. I couldn't go anywhere even if I wanted to, because right when she left I lost consciousness.
I woke up in a bed, with her sitting on a chair beside me. She told me that I had been asleep with fever for two weeks, and that my wound was healing well. She had been waiting for me to wake up all morning, because few people ever were able to meet outsiders in Thamasa, and she wanted to talk to me. I asked her why, and she said that they kept themselves secluded because they had magic. Of course, I didn't believe her, then she said that I would have died if it wasn't for their magic, and she used cure on me. I was shocked, because when she cast the spell, I really did feel a bit better, and she said it was the magic. It took some time for me to get used to magic, but I did.
The girl, who's name was Millina Harmon, had her eyes set on me, and I had feelings for her, too. She was so beautiful, with curly, golden spools of hair and the most beautiful set of red lips... I got her father's permission to date her, and six months after my arrival in Thamasa, we married.
On the night I proposed to her, I came clean about my past, telling her about all the stealing, and leaving my parents. I knew it was a risk, but I wouldn't feel right if she didn't know everything about me. She told me that I had all of the right intentions, but just got caught up in the whole thing. She asked me if I had completely turned from that life, and when I answered affirmative, she accepted my proposal, no more questions asked.
I worked as a carpenter and part time monster hunter after we married. I built us a house just to her liking, and we moved in just in time for the arrival of our first child, Relm. Life was idyllic for six years; we bought a puppy from a neighbor, and named him Interceptor because when I would take him along on a monster hunt, he was always the first to find a monster. Two years after Relm we had another child, a boy. We named him Clyde Baram Arrowny, or C.J., his middle name in honor of my old friend. When C.J. was a four years old, Millina went walking out in the woods with a friend, and C.J. was with her. After an hour, her friend came running back, saying that they had been attacked by evil men, who said that they were with the outside empire, warning the people of the village of the power of the Empire.
I ran to the woods as quickly as possible, and I found nothing but the shawl that she had worn, blood-soaked, and her wedding ring on the ground beside it. I came back home the next morning, and I saw Relm outside, suspecting nothing that had happened. A family friend was there, (Strago) and he asked if I found anything, and I said nothing, but I showed him the shawl.
I knew that I had to do something about the Empire, for I had heard that it had been making bold moves to take over the world, and I told Strago that. I went down to the cellar, full of hate, anger and grief, and brought up things that no one had seen; a black suit, a mask and the Striker. I told Strago that I had been training as a Ninja ever since I left my parents, and that I was going to teach everyone in the empire a lesson for doing what they did to me, to my family, and to everyone else that they had hurt. I said for Strago to tell Relm that I went to go and look for her mother and brother, but when she was old enough, tell her the truth. I then said that I didn't know if I would be back, and left.
I fled from Thamasa, escaping my emotions again, like I had with Baram. From there I vowed never again to be swayed by emotions, and tried ever since to keep them from interfering with anything. (Of course that didn't work as you well know. ) Interceptor went looking for me not long after I left, and caught up with me. It was too late for either of us to go back, so we kept on moving. I got back at the Empire in due course, and I returned to Relm."
"What about you getting back to your parents? Have you contacted them yet?" Terra asked.
Clyde paused for a while; the story brought up a gamut of emotions for him, and he was never very good at keeping them down. "I know that they're still alive, but I haven't seen them since...." he was interrupted by Setzer's shout from above.
"Figaro Castle! All ashore that's going' ashore!" Setzer called out. They could all feel the downward motion of the craft as it landed, and a bump when it set down.
"Let's be on our way, Lady Terra," Cyan said to Terra.
"Let's," she said to him. On the way down the rope ladder, Cyan stayed very close to her, and helped her down. She was becoming even more suspicious about what Cyan was up to.
-Inside the castle, a little less than an hour before Terra, Cyan, Relm, Clyde and Setzer arrived.-
"Where's the king!! Oh goodness gracious!! Where is king Edgar?!" The Chancellor exclaimed in a panicked frenzy. He looked here and there, in the Great Hall, in the the Throne Room, and in the Bedroom.
"I saw Sir Sabin, but I didn't see the king anywhere," a guard said to the Chancellor when asked.
The Chancellor was just about to take another quick tour of the entire castle, when he saw Sabin enter the hall.
"Sir Sabin? Sir Sabin!!" Sabin turned around; he looked like he had just waken up, for his hair was a mess and his eyes were all squinty.
"Sir Sabin, where is your brother? Your companions should be arriving within the hour!"
"He's sleeping; let him rest. It's the only sleep he's gotten in a few days," Sabin said with a yawn.
"I know that he's been restless... That's good, he should be in better shape for the festival. Did you check on him, make sure that he wasn't sick?" the Chancellor asked, his skinny face holding a look of concern.
"Oh yeah, it isn't anything really physical that's bothering him, just something personal," Sabin yawned again.
"So, where is he? The maid said he wasn't in his room," the Chancellor looked around.
"He slept in the engine room."
"The engine room!!? It's cold down there!!" the Chancellor scurried sown to the engine room where he found Edgar on the floor, sleeping. He had his head rested on a broken cog, and his royal robe covering him like a blanket. Sabin followed the frantic Chancellor, and had bade him to be quiet, then he sat down beside Edgar again.
"Hey, Edgar, wake up.." no response. "Edgar... WAKE UP!!!" Sabin roared, and Edgar awoke with a start.
"Unnnh, what?" he sat up, and looked around in the same squinty way that Sabin had when the Chancellor had addressed him.
"Did you sleep well?" the Chancellor asked hurrying his words and hovering around Edgar. "Were you chilled?"
"No, I was fine. No dreams, just fine," Edgar sat up and ran his fingers through his golden hair in a nervous manner.
"Brother, you need to get ready. Setzer, Cyan, Shadow and Relm are on their way," Edgar seemed still slow to move. "Oh, and Terra's coming with them!" Edgar got up right away.
"You do know how to motivate him," The chancellor said to Sabin with a grin.
"So that was who you were referring to last night," Sabin whispered to Edgar. Edgar blushed a bit, but nodded, found out.
Edgar bathed well, making sure to wash his dirty hair a few extra times to get any engine gunk off of it.
"I look like crap," he said to himself as he stood before the mirror in his towel. He noted how his skin was a sickly pale shad, and his eyes had dark circles around them. He sighed, then dressed in his normal kingly attire, nothing extra flashy, because he knew that people, Terra especially, were turned off when he tried to be overly-showy.
While trying to dry his long, golden hair, (which was a real pain because it took forever...) he remembered how he used to have an easier time when he had magic. He'd use a light wind spell with a light fire spell. The warm air always dried his hair out nicely. As he continued to think about it, he finally gave in to silly temptation.
"Why the hell not? I'll try it for old time's sake," he said, "Fire and Wind, fan and blow!"
He began to feel a warm wind gently blowing on his neck, and soon it had blown through his hair and dried it.
"It.. worked!?" he wondered about it. "I'm no expert on magic, so I'll ask Terra... she knows a lot about this stuff. How strange," he hastily pulled his long hair back into a neat pony tail, and clipped the feathered tassel to it. He had received it from Terra for Christmas, which she had sent by pigeon. He was just about to walk out of the door, when Sabin zipped by, shouting something.
"Edgar, they're here!!" Sabin yelled as he turned his head around for a moment. Edgar began running right behind Sabin to the throne room, and waited in anticipation.