What Makes A Hero Chapter 1

The Meager

By Nanaki

Warjilis Trade City

The Warjilis docks were bustling with activity, as always. In the midst of the traders and fish mongers, a group of twelve robed figures stood slightly to the side, apparently waiting for a ship. The occasional pickpocket who drew close was quickly discouraged by the sight of armor and weapons glinting from underneath the robes. One of the figures detached from the group momentarily, looking up at the mountains in the distance. A second soon followed.

"Having second thoughts Orlandu?" Ramza rested his hand on the grizzled warrior's shoulder.

"Yes. I can't help but wonder if I'm too old to be leaving Ivalice. If I'm too set in my ways..."

"True. But the ways are changing even now, whether you want them to or not. And besides, you defeated the Hokuten, by killing Dycedarg, and Zalbag... Those were your goals for many years, weren't they?"

"Yes. But it wasn't the same, with them being possessed by Lucavi..."

"You'll get used to it. No one likes change, except maybe Delita..." Ramza remained silent for a moment. He had been worried about Delita ever since Ovelia had died in an unfortunate riding accident. Losing two women so important to him in one lifetime might make him go even more psycho than he had been lately. Those red chocobos were so temperamental... He had wondered a little about the circumstances, but they had gone to the funeral in disguise, and it seemed that there was no foul play involved.

Ramza turned and walked back toward the rest of the group. Most of them were talking among themselves, although Meliadoul turned to glare at him. 'If looks could kill, that woman would be the death of me.' Ramza thought. Meliadoul still seemed to have a keen dislike for him, although he supposed he wouldn't have too sweet of a disposition if he had been forced to kill his own father. That thought brought him again to Dycedarg. He had actually been glad to see the monster vaporise in Orlandu's Holy Explosion. If it wasn't for Dycedarg, Balbanes might still be around today...

Then his thoughts turned again as Rafa glanced at him for a second. Sometimes he wondered if he was crazy, but he found himself taking a liking to her. Maybe it was just the age he was at, combined with circumstance. With most of the family dead, the Beoulve genes were screaming to be passed on. So then why didn't he look at Agrias or Meliadoul in the same way?

Then, realizing he was practically schizo today, he wondered where Agrias had been lately. He hadn't seen her since just before they left for Murond. She was probably sore that Orlandu seemed to have taken her place on the team, but what could he have done? Only Ramza himself could match Orlandu's sheer attacking power, and he had nowhere near the range. He doubted very much that they would have been able to kill Altima without Orlandu's devastating sword techniques. He was a Thunder God indeed.

Ramza whirled around as someone tapped on his shoulder. It was Roberto, his master ninja, which would explain why he hadn't heard the man coming up. "Ramza, there are two people dressed very similar to us heading this way. Should we confront them?"

"No. No one knows we're here. I can't think of who it might be, though. One of them wasn't made of metal, and about seven feet tall, was it?"

"Definitely not Worker 8." Roberto was a step ahead.

"Spiky hair?"

"I couldn't tell, but I don't think so."

"Is it Agrias?" He asked hopefully.

"Could be, but who would she be bringing with her?"

Mustadio walked up beside them, looking through the cross hairs of one of his guns. "I've got them in my sights, whoever they are."

"Take it easy." Ramza put a hand on his shoulder. "Even if someone does know we're here, why would anyone object to us leaving?" For that was the true purpose of this expedition. Ramza was sick of the endless violence and political backstabbing of Ivalice, and he and Alma were journeying across the ocean to Malak and Rafa's ancestral homeland. Most of the others had wanted to go along, because they had no life left to live here. Ramza was not sorry to be going. Let Delita have his poverty stricken kingdom.

The two robed figures were drawing much closer now. Ramza fingered the Masamune in his belt, but did not draw it. The shorter of the two stumbled briefly, and the taller supported it, no, her. They were both female, and as they drew very close, Ramza could make out Agrias' distinctive features. The second figure remained obscured by the draping hood. "Agrias." Ramza whispered loudly. "Where have you been all this time?"

"I would explain, but I think that I won't need to." She smiled thinly. "I have someone with me who needs your help." She gestured to the weakened figure beside her.

"Who?..." Ramza drifted. "Look, I'd love to help, but we're leaving in, like fifteen minutes here." He said regretfully, though still curious as to the exact situation.

"Looks like he needs a visual aid." Agrias said to the figure. The shorter woman lifted her hands shakily to the hood, and pushed it back from her head.

"Ovelia?!" Ramza asked in an almost normal tone of voice.

"Ssshhh!!" Agrias shushed him angrily.

"Surprised to see me?" Ovelia smiled a little, but she looked very pale.

"How is this possible?" He asked, dumbfounded. "I was at your funeral..."

"Whoever you saw, it wasn't me. Looks like he killed another girl and dolled her up to look like me."

"He? Killed another?..." The questions poured out of Ramza, although he already had a good idea to the answers. Ovelia opened her mouth to speak, but the words just wouldn't come.

"Delita tried to kill her." Agrias said, very angrily. "She still claims that she attacked him first, and he lost his temper. But I wonder if he wasn't planning this all along, just to get the throne."

"He seemed shaken..." Ovelia protested weakly.

"Why are you trying to defend that monster?!" Agrias demanded.

"I thought I could trust him..." She said in a small whisper. Through the mob of Ramza's allies that had gathered around, Alma pushed her way forward, supporting Ovelia.

"We're not leaving yet, are we?" She asked Ramza immediately, seeing the look on his face.

"That man is a manipulator of the worst kind." Orlandu said angrily. "We must give him what he deserves!"

"Anyone who uses people for their own ends deserves to be taken out." Rafa said, grimacing.

"Anyone who would kill someone they're supposed to love, deserves immediate death." Meliadoul swore, obviously thinking of Izlude. Everyone in Ramza's party fell into a general chorous of agreement, gradually growing louder. Looking around, he saw that half the population of Warjilis seemed to be gathered around their group now. It was no use trying to hide any longer. Ramza threw off his robe.

"No Alma, we're not leaving yet." The crowd gasped as their suspicions were confirmed. "Okay troops, we're marching to Zeltennia!" The crowd gradually cheered as the word spread, even though none of them had any clue of WHY Ramza was marching. His men threw off their robes and began walking back into the city.

"He did use me... But I thought... I thought he loved me anyway..." Ramza heard Ovelia whisper.

"Its possible he did." Ramza said softly. "But Ovelia, if this is how he handles a domestic quarrel, what kind of a king is he going to make?" He turned to Roberto, who had stayed behind. "Round up a flock of chocobos for us. We need to move fast." Roberto nodded. Ramza quickly walked back up to the front of his people. He saw Whitman and Vincent, the two who had been with him since the very beginning, just behind him, and uttered a phrase that only they would appreciate. "Now we must fight. Eeaaaaaaagh!!!"

"Eeaaaaaagh!!!" They raised their fists in the air.

"Eeaaaaaagh!!!" The cry spread throughout the crowd, until it could be heard throughout the city.


"Ramza, what did you get? I..." - Delita Hyral


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