Children of the War Chapter 4
A bar in the "poor" section of Lesalia
The sign clearly read, in large print, "No one under 16 allowed inside. All weapons strictly prohibited." Thirteen year old Milaf Folles swaggered inside, her Ancient Sword banging against the doorframe. The bartender looked up, an expectant expression on his face as Milaf jumped up onto a barstool.
"You really take pleasure in your flagrant disregard of the rules, don't you?" He asked, looking amused.
"Hey, rules are only for people who have no power." She tossed her long blonde hair back provocatively, out of habit. "Please tell me you have something over 100 proof." She glanced around the bar, surprised to find that she was the only one there.
The bartender glanced at his clock. "Milaf, it's only 10:30 in the morning."
"But I NEED it today." She put her head down on the bar, then turned over, doing her best to look pathetic. She knew she was overacting badly, but didn't care.
"What's today's excuse?" The bartender asked, obviously prepared to be amused.
"Do you have any idea how much money the government still owes my dad?"
"Milaf, Wiegraf wasn't your dad." The bartender said in a bored tone, wiping off a mug.
"Hey, my name's a combo of Wiegraf and Miluda, for crying out loud!" She sat up again, looking more serious now.
"Proving what?" He asked. "I hate to be the one to break this to you AGAIN, but Wiegraf's been dead a lot longer than you've been alive."
"That's not true!" She slammed her fist down on the bar.
"Then how did he manage to come back from the dead in time to make you, and then disappear again?"
"Look, I haven't seen the guy for eight years, but I know he was my father."
"Proof! Where's your proof?" The bartender asked, but began to fill up a mug to placate her.
Her eyes suddenly grew dark. "I have... No... Hey, what about the fact that I have the exact same powers as he did, with no training?"
"You got training somewhere." The bartender insisted, sliding her a mug full of a foul smelling substance.
"What, I ask for 100 proof, and you're giving me ale?" She complained.
"Quit your whining. You're too young to destroy yourself with booze. Anyway, how much did the government owe Wiegraf?"
"Over 1,900,000 Gil." She put her head on the table again. "Man, what I could do with that..."
"You'd just waste it all anyway." He insisted. "If Delita tried to pay off all the families the crown still owes money too, it'd start a huge recession."
"I get the feeling one's on the way anyway." She sat up, looking him in the eye.
"Oh?" She might have been a few years short of legal, but the bartender knew Milaf was always well informed.
"You've heard of the Sadalfas family, right?" She asked, suddenly appearing to be clear headed.
"I have a vague recollection. They used to be quite prominent, like the Beoulves, but one of them turned traitor or something..."
"That's the one. Well, it turns out that a young Sadalfas named Algus killed Delita's sister about a year after the end of the Fifty Years' War. Even though Delita killed Algus immediately after, not too long ago, Clemence decided that he was going to have his revenge. He led his men to the Sadalfas estate, and burned it, killing old Gilgus Sadalfas and his wife. But apparently they had another son, much younger than Algus, named Donalbain. And though the Sadalfas family isn't prominent anymore, that didn't stop him from becoming a powerful Black Knight. He's organizing a rebellion right now, with Clemence's death as his main goal."
"He's not going to get very far, not without the Nanten or Hokuten backing him."
"I wouldn't bet on that. He's already gathered a bunch of young warriors wanting to make names for themselves, and some older warriors who are concerned about Clemence's leadership are looking more and more interested. Besides, the Nanten are indifferent toward Delita. They might not help Donalbain, but they won't stop him either."
"And the Hokuten?"
"Cyran Bolivar has led a rebellion before, though I doubt he will now. Also, Zalbag and Ramza didn't disappear on the friendliest of terms."
"But Zalbag is dead, and Ramza might as well be, for all the time he's been gone."
"Ah yes, but don't forget, there's a Balbanes back in Beoulve Castle, and he's old enough to be a real warrior now. I'd bet every last cent of my dad's money that he'll play a major role in all of this."
"I think you're blowing everything entirely out of proportion. Though for a thirteen year old filled with ale, that doesn't surprise me much." Milaf looked down in surprise, to discover that her mug was indeed empty.
"Hey, fill it u-"
Suddenly, an authoritative voice came from the door. "Milaf Folles, you're under arrest!" A young man dressed in an officer's uniform stood in the door, several soldiers behind him.
She jumped down off the barstool, tilting her head in a perplexed way to look as cute as possible. "Whatever for?"
"Oh, we have several charges here." The officer smiled. "First, underage drinking." He pointed to the empty mug. "Second, carrying a weapon in an area where said action is clearly prohibited." He pointed to her Ancient Sword. "Third, prostitution."
"Hey!" Milaf looked angry now. "I've never charged anybody, and I only sleep with guys I like anyway!"
"Disarm her." The officer nodded, and his soldiers stepped forward. Milaf sighed as they seized her Ancient Sword and, checked her boots, but she felt secure in the knowledge that she still had...
"What have we here?" One of the soldiers asked. Milaf suddenly became rigid. He pulled on a hilt that she thought had been very well hidden under her cape. She winced as the large blade attached to the hilt opened a slice all the way down her back, and she felt the heat as blood started to run.
"Well, well, well. The legendary Ragnarok." The officer smiled. "How did a little urchin like you get ahold of it? I guess we can add carrying a concealed weapon to the charges."
"Give it back." Milaf growled in a venomous voice.
"Uh, no. You'll be coming with us now." One of the soldiers whipped out manacles.
"Give it back!!" She yelled. The soldier who had the Ragnarok walked away and handed it to the officer. Suddenly, she lunged at the man who had her Ancient Sword, quickly snatching it back and burying it in his gut, despite his armor. "Give it back!! Give it back!! Give it back!!" She charged the officer, whose soldiers quickly surrounded him. "Heaven's wish to destroy all minds..."
"NO!!!" The group of soldiers all screamed at once.
"Holy Explosion!!!" The huge blasts shook the building, and floored them all. None of them stirred after the dust settled. Milaf quietly bent down and retrieved the Ragnarok, much relieved. "I could never let you go..."
The bartender peered over the edge of the countertop, amazed by what he had just seen. Whether or not the facts actually supported it, Milaf really did believe Wiegraf was her father. She was also in a whole mess of trouble. "Uh, Milaf? I really think you better get going now."
"Okay. I'll lay low for a little while."
"No, I mean you need to get out of the city. They're going to be sending every soldier they can spare after you now."
"Sheesh! All this just because I like living and loving?"
"It looks that way." The bartender frowned. "Go, now. I don't want to see you in here anymore."
"Well fine!" She turned up her nose at him. "I've got all I really need anyway." With that, she placed the Ragnarok back under her cape, oblivious to the blood running down her back, and starting to stain the floor. She spun on her heel, and quickly walked out the door.
"Sorry, but I've got a bit of a temper. Got it from my dad." - Jessica de Alkirk
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