What Makes A Hero Chapter 7


By Nanaki


"Zeltennia Castle, dead ahead." Whitman called from where he was on point.

"All right people!" Ramza bellowed. "This is it, as far as Delita is concerned! Ovelia, make sure you're well covered up. You're our greatest weapon, as far as the general populace goes, but I want the element of surprise. I'm almost sure they know we're coming, but they may not know about our other factions. Rad, Whitman, go scout around for Cyran's men and T.G. Cid, respectively." Suddenly, a giant explosion appeared right next to the castle. It appeared tiny, near as it was to the horizon, but Ramza could tell that it was quite large. "Vincent, was that a Flare?" Vincent nodded. "Never mind, I think we've found them. Everyone, ready your weapons, because now we must fight! Eeaaaggghhhh!!!"

"Eeaaaggghhhh!!!" Came the answering cry. As he began to run forward, Ramza smiled.


"It appears Cyran arrived here ahead of us." Orlandu observed from just inside a small grove of trees. A fair part of the castle had just been blown away, and the resident Nanten knights were pouring out the main gate.

"What are they doing? Only fools attack head on!" Agrias said, then grimaced when she realized where she had picked that piece of information up.

"On the contrary, this appears to be a very wise move." Orlandu continued to monitor the situation calmly.

"How so?" Meliadoul immediately asked. "Agrias is right. They really are attacking straight on, which won't get them inside very fast."

"They don't need to get inside. They only need to keep the enemy distracted long enough for Ramza to get in another way." He continued to stand there, unaffected by the battle raging in front of him.

"Okay, but then how are we supposed to get in?" Meliadoul asked him.

Orlandu watched the plain to the east of the castle. Nothing happened for a few minutes, but then he saw a spear thrown up into the air. It arced slowly back toward the ground, and did not appear again. That was Rad's signal. It was time to go. "We're going to walk straight from here, right into the castle." Orlandu finally answered her question.

"You can't be serious." She immediately responded.

"Just watch me." Orlandu grinned as he very rarely did, then stepped forward, away from the grove.


"I must say, Cyran is certainly doing a good job keeping the Nanten occupied." Ramza found a handhold in the castle wall, gripped it tightly, then pulled his Oberisk out of where it was wedged in. He jabbed it back into the wall above his head, then pulled himself up. From his occassional glances below, he could see Rafa was fairly impressed. He should really be concentrating on the battle, he realized, but he had fought so many battles he didn't exactly feel it was necessary to do so. Vincent, not exactly feeling up to punching holes in the wall to climb up, procured a grappling rope from somewhere. He tossed it up to Ramza, who threw it the rest of the way to the top. Zalbag hefted Balbanes up so the boy's arms were around his neck, and got ready to climb. The grapple held, and they all hurried up the side, although Ovelia needed some help getting up the rope, until they were standing on the rampart. "C'mon." Ramza motioned toward the inside. "I heard Orlandu talk about this place often enough to know where we're going."

Zalbag quickly scanned around, and saw no guards. He walked down the parapet a little way, and found an odd sheltered alcove. "Balbanes, you stay right here until I come back to get you. Understand?" The boy nodded solemnly in return.

"Where exactly are we going?" Rad asked.

"Tyrants tend to hang out in their throne rooms." Ramza said over his shoulder as he started to sprint in that direction. The group ran down the halls, following Ramza closely, encountering absolutely no enemy resistance. Either Cyran had really put up a fierce attack, or, and Ramza began to think this was more and more likely, it was a trap. If it was, he would just fight his way out.

Then, suddenly, the running stopped as he burst through the throne room doors. Both he and Zalbag gasped at what they saw.

"Well Ramza, you're a little later than I expected, but that's all right. After all, I'm one with the time god." Rofel grinned at them in a crooked way.

"You know, I never understood what advantage that gave you, if any." Ramza kept his face expressionless.

"That doesn't matter." Then he noticed Zalbag. "And I see you brought one of the Zodiac Braves' old friends with you."

"How in hell did you get out of Murond?" Ramza demanded.

"I should ask the same of you. Altima seemed to be gracious in defeat, is my guess. But that is irrelevant. What matters is that I'm alive to take my revenge on you."

Ramza forced his temper down. Despite this surprise, he had all the advantages this time. He still would rather not battle Rofel, if it could be avoided. "Why do you want revenge on us? It's Delita you should be concerned about."

Rofel laughed. "If Delita didn't still have so much morality, he would be perfect for our cause. Why would I worry about him?"

"He used you! He used all of us! He used Vormav to get rid of Goltana, then he used us to kill Vormav before you all could find out. That left him in power. Pretty convenient huh?"

"Shut up!" Rofel quickly drew out his Save the Queen. "Why should I believe your lies?"

"First off, because they're not lies. Second, take a look around. You know you can't beat us." Ramza almost smiled.

"That's true enough. Alone, I can't. But I know someone who can." Rofel closed his eyes, and the stones under their feet began to rumble.

"I don't think I'm going to like this." Ramza said quietly. Then, quickly, the missing zodiac stone drifted into the room through one of the large windows. "Rad, use Holy!" He shouted.

"There's no time!" Rad shouted back. "I don't have the magic power for it!"

Then, the stone began to glow an extremely bright blue. Spirits circled around, and a giant blue explosion threw them all back, momentarily plunging the room into darkness. Ramza stood up, and when he could see again, the toughest enemy he had ever faced stood before him. "Velius." He hissed.

"It's so nice to be remembered." Velius grinned a demonic grin.

"You can't beat us Velius." Ramza found it hard to maintain his composure. "The body you're using now isn't as strong as the one you had last time."

"Maybe it's not." He hissed evilly. Then, he seemed to become a blue blur, that charged right up to them in under a second. He charged right on by, yanking Zalbag off his feet and slamming him into the wall. Zalbag grunted as the wind was knocked out of him. "But it's so much faster! Hashmalum isn't too happy with you Zalbag. I think I'll send you back to him right now."

"Sorry 'Berto." Ramza whispered, then plunged his Oberisk into Velius' back. Everyone jumped toward the monster at once. They all had a hard time not inflicting severe harm on each other as Velius easily jumped to the side before they could get there.

"Armor won't help the heart stay sharp! Shellbust stab!" Ramza quickly remembered that Rofel was still in the fight too, and regretted his momentary lapse as Whitman was hit hard, his armor breaking and falling useless to the ground.

"You all think you're so special." Velius snorted disdainfully. "You're not prepared to counter the abilities of one of your own. Now, pathetic humans, let me hear your screams of pain!"

"Everyone, fight them into the corner! Eeaaaggghhhh!!!" Ramza and Zalbag charged forward, everyone else following right behind, except for Whitman and the two clerics. Whitman caught his breath, still wincing from the blow Rofel had given him. He noticed that Ovelia and Alma seemed to be just standing in one place, their eyes closed.

"Uh ladies? We could really use some MBarriers here." He said as politely as he could bear to.

Whitman ducked as Rad went flying through the air over him, landing in a heap after crashing into the wall. Alma opened her eyes slightly. "Do not interfere. Velius is simply too fast. You can't beat him unless we do this. Now go distract him, and keep him busy!" Whitman had no idea what Alma was planning, but he hurried to follow her orders.

As he rushed back toward the fray, he was glad to see Rafa nail Rofel with an Asura. Rofel held up his sword to try to block the attack, and to his surprise, the Save the Queen broke into several pieces, and the force of the energy threw him into the wall, knocking him out. Rafa seemed surprised too. Seeing this, Velius dodged all attacks coming at him with apparent ease, and hefted Rafa up with his two lower arms. He punched her with his upper arms, and gave her a massive headbutt at the same time. He let her crumple to the floor, where blood trickled out of her head. "You bastard!!" Ramza and Malak both roared, and charged at him with no caution at all. Laughing, Velius jumped over them as they lunged at him, then nailed Malak with a kick in the back on his way down. Ramza whirled around and thrust his Oberisk at Velius. Velius actually managed to grab the spear in mid thrust. When Ramza grimly refused to let go, he swung the spear around in midair, Ramza along with it, and then let it go flying back into the rest of Ramza's troops.

Before they could even begin to recover, a Cyclops roared into their midst, jagged shards of energy smashing into everyone. From her far corner, Alma struggled to shut out the screams. She was almost there...

Even now, Velius had only been struck once. He was obviously enjoying himself. As the warriors were sprawled on the ground, he turned to Ovelia and Alma. He ignored Alma at the moment. "You know, both Hashmalum and Vormav are very angry at Delita." Both ladies would have loved to have pointed out that Rofel was working with Delita, but they couldn't break their concentration. He began to step toward them. "I think killing Delita's wife might appease his anger a little." Suddenly, Ovelia opened her eyes.

"You're too late." She half grinned, giving several meanings to the sentence.

"Your time is up, devil." Alma nodded. Suddenly, a harsh red light fell on Velius. He looked up in surprise. Wavy red lines coursed into his body, and his image seemed to blur. In a moment, he was just a red outline. In another moment, a second, smaller outline appeared next to his. A second later they, both solidified. Velius looked himself over quickly. It seemed that no change had taken place.

Then, a new voice spoke up. "Well, it looks like I get a chance to kill you after all."

Velius turned in surprise. "Well, well. If it isn't the body that failed me last time. Make yourself useful Wiegraf, and go wake Rofel up."

"I would Velius, except for one thing."

"And what might that be?" Despite Wiegraf's attitude, Velius didn't really feel like killing him. Wiegraf had been a good host body. Perhaps he could be again.

"I can't believe you made me say it: 'I don't give a damn about Miluda's murder.' For that, you're going straight back to hell." Wiegraf took a step back, then to Velius' extreme surprise, drew out a Ragnarok sword with blinding speed. "Heaven's wish to destroy all minds... Holy Explosion!" The giant beam of holy light engulfed Velius, and he staggered back. Wiegraf quickly launched himself at the monster in a frenzy, giving no thought to self preservation. Velius grappled with Wiegraf for a minute, before finally managed to get a good hold on him. He pulled back his top right fist for a massive punch.

Then suddenly, his arm was gone. He whirled to find Whitman standing there, grasping his Kiyomori in both hands. Wiegraf used this opportunity to swing down at Velius' head. The giant ram turned at the last minute, but one of his horns was cut off and the blade passed deep into his shoulder. He quickly dropped Wiegraf. "Trying to win by strength of numbers again? Let's see if I can fix that. Come out, my loyal servants!" Velius closed his eyes for just a second, and six Archaic demons appeared. They formed a protective circle around him, and a few Giga Flares convinced Wiegraf to back off a little.

But all that commotion had bought everyone time to get back on their feet, with the exception of Rafa. Ramza charged forward once more, his Oberisk ready to strike. Velius just glared at him. Then, six Dark Holies activated at once. Ramza found himself standing with only Wiegraf and Whitman with him. Even Ramza didn't relish the thought of taking on six Archaic demons at once, and Wiegraf realized that he might actually need a strategy now. They began to back away. "What's the matter gentlemen? You're not giving up the fight, are you?" Velius began to concentrate again, paying no heed to his missing arm, while the demons started to swarm forward.

"I think we're in trouble." Whitman uttered the understatement of the year. He glanced over at Ovelia and Alma. They needed MBarriers bad if they were to have any hope of winning, but the two ladies were just concentrating again.

Then, as the demons charged, another voice filled the room. "Galaxy Stop!" Bright lights flashed all over, and the demons froze in place. Ramza whirled around, hardly daring to hope this was really true. Indeed, Olan Durai stood in the doorway, flanked by two Hokuten knights. Velius didn't quite seem to realize what had happened. Wiegraf turned to Ramza.

"So, can you honestly say you don't feel insecure now, with any confidence?"

"Yes!" Ramza shouted. Velius continued to concentrate. Ramza made a slight gesture, and he, Wiegraf, and Whitman charged forward. He grinned as Velius just stood there stupidly. A split second before their weapons connected, Velius' three remaining arms jerked out, grabbed all of them by the neck, and smashed their heads together violently.

"Fools." He spat contemptuously. "How stupid do you have to be to be fooled by a simple ruse like that?"

"How stupid do you have to be to underestimate your opponent?" Olan responded. Gazing around the room, his eyes widened as he noticed one of the two ladies still standing. "Ovelia?!" He whirled on Velius. "What kind of foul magic is this, devil?"

"It's no magic." Velius actually shrugged. "Keep in mind, I've been out of the loop for a while."

Olan turned to the two knights beside him. "See to the wounded. I want to take care of this myself."

"Your pitiful Galaxy Stop can't touch me." Velius sneered.

"You're a fool devil." Olan tossed aside the book he carried. To Velius' immense surprise, he also tossed aside his protective mantle. Sure, he could move a little more freely, but that didn't make up for the defense he had lost with it. "It's my fault Delita has gotten to where he is today. I didn't have to courage to face him alone. But I've had plenty of time to think about this. I'd rather face the whole world alone and die now than live my life being afraid! The hour of your destruction has arrived!" Despite his forcefulness, Olan's voice remained relatively composed. Suddenly, he took a fighting stance, despite his lack of a weapon. His muscles tightened, and his body began to shake slightly. Then, his hands began emitting an orange glow as he continued to stand there.

Velius had never seen anything quite like this before. Since Olan didn't immediately act, he streetched his three arms out, and a healing light fell over him. He felt relief as his missing arm and horn reattached, because he was sure he wasn't going to like whatever Olan was up to. Then, the glow from Olan's hands raced along his body and down to his feet. He charged forward incredibly fast, his bare fist stretched outward. Velius grinned and jumped out of the way, but felt Olan's fist impact on his bottom right shoulder. Many bones snapped, and the shoulder blade practically disintegrated. Velius flew through the air for a few feet, before landing hard. He sat there for a moment, stunned. Roberto's ninja skills hadn't been enough to save him from that. He couldn't believe it. He had thought that no one was faster than Roberto. Olan ran at him again. This time, Velius intercepted his flying fist, grabbed on hard, and flipped Olan over his shoulder, smashing him into the ground. He continued to squeeze Olan's fist, listening for the sound of bones snapping.

Instead, the orange glow returned, and shot up Velius' arm. He yelled in pain, but found he could not let go. Olan reached back with his other arm, and planted and exruciating punch right in Velius' gut. The Zodiac Demon actually doubled over. Olan jumped and kicked him in the head, all the while mainting contact with Velius' arm. He used to momentum started by the kick to grab the monster's arm with both hands, and then flip him into the wall, finally letting go. Velius sat leaning against the wall, breathing heavily. Olan charged up and delivered three roundhouse kicks to his chest before he could do anything. Velius roared in frustration, striking up with a desperate kick that actually connected, sending Olan flying back several paces. He dimly heard Alma shout. "Now Ovelia!!"

Intense beams of wavy red light descended on Velius. He roared again, but could not seem to move. Slowly but surely, another outline was forming, lying on the floor in front of him. It solidified into the heavily wounded form of Roberto, and the red light stopped. Velius found that he was still there, and he could move again. He quickly reached down toward Roberto. As his arm passed through the young man without any resistance, he noticed that he was completely transparent. He cursed, but at the same time, thought of a way to use this to his advantage.

Seeing he was still there, although now more of a ghost-like apparition, Olan charged at him again. He was extremely dismayed to see this tactic wouldn't work, as he rushed through him and barely avoided smashing his skull on the thick castle wall. Velius began to laugh. He closed his eyes and folded his arms, and continued to chuckle softly as all of Olan's attempts to harm him were in vain. Soon, his eyes opened, and a Cyclops burst onto the scene, showering Olan with jagged, glowing shards of energy from all directions. Olan sank to his knees. "Velius." The ghost-like monster whirled around, to find Wiegraf standing behind him, Rad leaning heavily on him. "Rad here had a very interesting theory that I'm willing to try out on you." He quickly drew his Ragnarok again. "Heaven's wish to destroy all minds..." In a quick burst of inspiration, and not knowing what else to do, Velius charged forward blindingly fast, the one solid piece within him, the Aries stone, hit Wiegraf on the head, knocking him out before he could complete his incantation.

"Holy Explosion!!"

"What?!" Velius whirled around, too late, to find Orlandu in the doorway, his Ragnarok crackling with energy. The pillar of holy energy encased him, and Velius vanished, the archaic demons disappearing as well. The Aries stone clattered noisily to the floor, temporarily drained of all light. Olan stood up, breathing heavily.

"Father, you're just in time." He smiled softly.

"No Olan, I was too late. It's you that everyone here must thank." Orlandu stepped into the throne room, and Agrias, Meliadoul, Cyran, and a whole host of tired looking Hokuten Knights stepped inside as well.

"Man, it's lucky Delita took the Black Sheep Knights with him or... ..what the hell happened here?!" Cyran demanded, quickly surveying everyone's unconcious form. They all stood quietly, as Alma, Ovelia, and several Hokuten chemists moved around the room, tending to the wounded. Ramza slowly began to stir. He sat up, rubbing his head.

"I can't believe it. I couldn't beat him. He was too fast." Ramza's eyes opened fully, and he whirled around, scanning the room. "He was too fast. Roberto!" He quickly spotted Roberto, and ran over to him, even as his head reeled. "Alma, Ovelia, over here!"

As the two women hurried to tend his wounds, the cry ran through the ranks of assembled knights. "Ovelia?!!"

Now Roberto was stirring, and Ramza motioned for them to be quiet. Vincent took off his mantle, and placed it under Roberto's head. Roberto wearily opened some very tired looking eyes. "Hey soldier, how are you feeling?" Ramza asked quietly. Roberto immediately tried to sit up. Ramza held him down. "Whoah, what's your hurry?"

"Have to... 'pologize... to Rafa." He gasped tiredly. "Velius... made me say, made me think..."

"I know the feeling." Wiegraf commented quietly from the background.

"Everyone, I know we have a lot of things to sort out." Cyran broke in. "But we didn't win out there. We have a temporary cease fire going, and the one thing that will end the fighting is you, Ovelia. There are thousands of angry Nanten out there, and you're the one thing that will assure them that their loyalty to Delita is misplaced. Will you come with me please?"

Ovelia looked around. No one realized it, but she was very reluctant to do this. She quickly took in the number of Hokuten already in the room. If she refused, ramza wouldn't be able to protect her. "I suppose I really don't have a choice, do I?" She asked softly.

Cyran sighed. "No, you really don't."


"Whoah! They're only humans!" - Velius


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