What Makes A Hero Chapter 8
Worries of Ovelia
Agrias, Orlandu, Meliadoul, and all the Hokuten followed Cyran and Ovelia out. Roberto quickly fell back asleep on the soft feather mantle. Ramza stood, still breathing hard, not yet quite sure how to thank Olan. Behind him, he heard the scrape of metal against stone, and turned to see Wiegraf picking his Ragnarok off the floor. Ramza tensed a little. Wiegraf began to twirl the blade in his hands. "Well, it looks like I've finally stumbled across Miluda's murderer." Everyone in the room tensed. "And it's me." Wiegraf quickly frowned and sheathed the blade.
"Wiegraf, it certainly wasn't your fault." Ramza broke into his thoughts.
"I didn't realize it until Alma brought me back from Hades, but it is my fault. I was so much older than her, she idolized me. She would have done anything I asked. So when I asked for her help in the Death Corps, of course she gave it." He closed his eyes for a moment. "She took up my fanatacism for our cause, but not all of my reasoning. She was even more of a fanatic than I was, and didn't know when to give it up and strategically withdraw. All my talk of fighting to the end, and never giving up, made her do just that. I know you a little Ramza, and you wouldn't have killed her if you had a choice. I knew her better, and I know she wouldn't have given you a choice."
Ramza nodded slowly. "I told her I didn't want to fight her, and I asked her what the problem was, if it was really my fault. She said it wasn't my fault, but she'd keep blaming me until there was a solution."
"Stubborn until the end." Wiegraf had a distant look in his eyes. He turned and walked out of the throne room.
"Where are you going?" Ramza called after him.
"It looks like I'm going nowhere." His voice responded.
Ramza now turned to Olan. "You saved us all, Olan. We owe everything to you. He was too fast for us." Olan remained silent, but nodded, allowing a slight grin to form on his lips. "Where did you get those skills?"
"I've had plenty of time to train while Delita's held me here. If an opportune moment ever came for me to stand up to him, I wanted to be ready. I'd had one chance before, but I was too weak to take it. And apparently, Ovelia almost died because of that." He looked regretfully down at his clenched fist. "But I'm getting off track. Anyway, there's an old Ordalian Holy Monk still trapped in the prison here. I managed to learn a lot from him. When Delita left, he had me "sequestered" in the prison "for my safety." I got thrown in with those two Hokuten Knights, and we finally managed to break out when Cyran's attack came. I ran up here to try to take out that man," he pointed at where Rofel still lay unconcious, "but ended up battling Velius instead."
"That settles that part of the puzzle." Ramza nodded. "Now, how did Orlandu and the others get inside for their timely rescue?"
One of the Hokuten Knights stepped forward. "It was amazing sir. Orlandu walked right into the heart of the battle, and none of the Nanten would lift a finger to stop him. The fighting stopped wherever he walked, until we had a momentary cease fire, and he headed right up to the throne room."
"That makes sense." Ramza nodded. "No one would want to go against T.G. Cid, even if they did have hundreds of other men at their back. Now," he turned to Alma, "how the hell did you two get Wiegraf instead of Roberto? How did Velius take Roberto against his will?"
"I have a hunch." Zalbag broke in, rubbing a large slice on his arm. "I'm guessing they both wanted revenge really, really bad. Velius' emotions were enough so that he put out the tremendous effort required to guide the Aries stone, like I did with the Leo stone. And Wiegraf wanted to teach Velius a lesson so badly that he put himself ahead of Roberto. I have no idea how. I'm not sure why he didn't battle Velius in Hades anyway."
"I don't think anyone's going to do better than that." Ramza shrugged. "All right, does anyone have any idea why Rofel would be here?" They all remained silent. "This is not good. Zalbag, are you sure Vormav is still in Hades?"
"Definitely." Zalbag nodded. "Hashmalum would appear here before he did anyway, and I've got his stone."
Suddenly, they heard a small voice shouting in the hall as it grew nearer. "Lousy, stealing, thiefing, Death Corps...!" Wiegraf came back into the room, his right leg dragging behind him.
"Does this belong to one of you?" He asked Ramza and Zalbag. Balbanes was hanging on his leg, furiously pounding on his armor, to no avail. "It appears someone's told him a little bit about me."
"Balbanes!" Zalbag exclaimed. "I'd forgotten about him during the battle."
"You forgot about your own kid?" Wiegraf asked scornfully. He hefted Balbanes up by the collar, pretending to be wary of his swinging fists. "Look kid, the Death Corps ended a long time ago, years before you were born. I'd advise you to forget about it." He walked over to the two Beoulves and started to hand Balbanes over to Zalbag, but, as if he still couldn't quite stand to help Zalbag out in any possible way, he heaved the squirming kid at Ramza instead.
Ramza put him down, and he ran over to Zalbag, latching himself onto his father. "I haven't exactly been around him that much." Zalbag said to Wiegraf. "Although why I'm defending my parenting to you of all people is beyond me at the moment."
"Well everyone," Ramza brought all attention in the room back to him, "despite this huge mess of stuff to sort out, we emerged victorious today, thanks to Olan. I'm sure the Nanten outside will come around once they see Ovelia is the real thing. We're done battling for now. All of you go enjoy yourselves." Most of the mass of people in the room headed for the doors. Ramza smiled as he heard Whitman and Rad asking each other if they had been concious for certain parts of the battle. After having come so close to defeat, he wondered how they could still be so casual about it.
Soon, Ramza and Alma were the only concious ones left in the throne room. Everyone else had been too curious about what was happening with Ovelia. Alma slowly walked up to Ramza, then leaned against him. "That was tough, and he never even laid a hand on me."
"I know. I'm sure wielding that magic was a challenge in itself though. How's Roberto?"
"Amazingly, it looks like he's going to be just fine. He's just exhausted right now, and I can't really blame him. All the wounds Velius received manifested in him as well, and he was probably struggling constantly to regain control of himself."
"That's very good." Ramza almost began to smile, until Alma said,
"Now, about Rafa."
His insides froze. "What about Rafa?"
"You know how Velius gave her a nice, huge headbutt?"
"Well yes, but he smashed me in the head too, and I feel okay now."
"Yes, but Wiegraf and Whitman don't have huge ramming horns. I hate to say this, but she's not looking too good..."
Cyran quickly walked out of what remained of the castle gate, and stepped up to a platform that had been very hastily erected by some of the Nanten. He spread his arms wide. "Nanten warriors!" A respectful silence quickly fell over the crowd. "Years ago, the Hokuten and Nanten fought as one force against the oppressive hordes of Ordalia. I sincerely hope we can fight as one force against a new injustice, for the good of all Ivalice!" There were skeptical murmurings, but otherwise, the Nanten remained attentive. "Now, as to why I'm saying this, you have all been deceived. You have been told that your Queen, Ovelia Atkascha, passed away from injuries sustained during a riding accident on her twenty first birthday. Even though she normally rides with at least two servants, somehow, no one was a witness to the accident." Cyran paused for dramatic effect. He hadn't been leading the Hokuten for over a year now without developing his speaking skills. "The truth is that Ovelia wasn't in any riding accident. The injuries she sustained were a result of a knife wielded by your "great" King, Delita Hyral!!"
Immediately, the assembled ranks of knights broke into chaotic shouting. Cyran's men surrounded him, but the Nanten did not attack. After a few moments, the unruly mob returned to a quiet crowd, one man shouting, "Where is your proof?!"
"You want proof?" Cyran tilted his head back and laughed. "Here's your proof!" He gestured toward the castle gate. Ovelia timidly stepped through the charred pieces of wood, and made her way up to the podium. Disturbed murmers ran through the ranks. Ovelia held up her hands for silence.
"Gentlemen, let me assure you that I am the real Ovelia Atkascha. You can interview me as much as is necessary to convince yourselves. The truth is that Delita did try to kill me on my birthday. He thought he succeeded, which is why he announced my death to the public. But in fact, I managed heal my wounds to a reasonable degree, and escape." Ovelia stepped back, and turned to Cyran. "The rest is up to you." She whispered.
"You see?" Cyran stepped forward again. "She can still hardly talk about it. The King is a traitor."
One Nanten stepped forward from the rest. "With all due respect majesty," he was warily respectful of Ovelia, "what possible motive could he have for doing such a thing?"
"Isn't it obvious?!" Cyran shouted. "He never cared for her! All along, his only goal was to take the throne. Once he no longer needed Queen Ovelia to help him achieve that, he decided to get rid of her!"
"No..." Ovelia weakly protested. "It wasn't like that." 'He still loves me...' A tear came to her eye, but the horde of knights was already making far too much noise to hear her.
"The King is nothing but a murdering traitor!" Cyran seemed to be entering a spittle inducing frenzy. "If this isn't ample evidence, just ask Olan Durai, son of your illustrious T.G. Cid, for some examples of his behavior! Down with the traitor!!"
"Traitor! Traitor!!" The cry began running through the crowd. "Kill the traitor!!!"
"No! Stop!" Ovelia protested futilely.
All at once, the crowd spotted Orlandu standing on the battlements above Cyran, and the cried rang out. "Mighty Count Orlandu, lead us into battle against the traitor!!"
Orlandu scratched his beard thoughtfully, then held up his arms for quiet. "My worthy Nanten allies!" He cried formally. "It will be my honor to lead you into battle against the forces of this monster! Not even the Lesalian army can stand against the might of the Nanten and Hokuten combined! We will crush the pitiful fool who has deluded himself into thinking he is the rightful ruler of our kingdom." He lowered his hands. Both the Nanten and Hokuten erupted into cheers.
"Kill the murderer!! Kill the traitor!!!"
"I should have known I'd find you here, after I heard what Whitman told me had been happening." Cyran said quietly as he entered the softly lit room where Rafa was laying in a large bed, her head covered in bandages. Ramza and Malak were seated in stiff chairs just to the side. Ramza got up and slowly stretched.
"I heard the cries quite clearly. It looks as though they believed you."
"Well, with Orlandu confirming our evidence, I don't think very many doubted us."
"Good work. Zalbag will be happy to hear this."
"Aren't you?" Cyran looked at him with surprise.
"I'm not sure. I doubt hearing at least twenty thousand Nanten shout 'Kill the traitor!!!' was exactly what Ovelia needed right now."
"I thought you wanted to kill Delita." Cyran was puzzled.
"He was my best friend!" Ramza whirled on him. "I am very angry with him, but I don't want to kill him if I can possibly avoid it."
Cyran realized that Ramza was most likely very upset over Rafa's current condition, and turned to leave. "We'll discuss this later." Ovelia walked in the door right as he was leaving, and gave him a dirty look. Cyran sighed and continued down the hall.
"Ramza, I want to talk to you." Ovelia walked right up to him.
"What is it?" He asked quietly.
"I'm worried about Delita. I think he's going to die soon."
"After the response I heard from those Nanten, yeah." Ramza nodded slowly.
"Well, can't you do something about it?"
"What can I do against all those knights?" He gestured helplessly.
"Just tell them that YOU get to be the one to confront Delita, and no one else."
"I hope that you're aware that I may kill him as well, if what Cyran told everyone turns out to be true." He looked at her intensely. "Unless you know something I don't, that would definitely clear him."
"I..." Ovelia hesitated. "I don't, I'm afraid." Ramza nodded and sat back down.
"Do me a favor will you? Go see if Roberto's waking up yet." With that, he returned to his intense scrutiny of Rafa's unconcious form.
"All right." Ovelia sighed, then went to follow his orders.
"Delita may be a good person as you said..." - Olan Durai
Go To Chapter 9
Return To FFT Fanfic