Legacy of Honor Chapter 7
A monastery built around the time of St. Ajoras birth twelve centuries ago, it was a place where scholars from all around Ivalice gathered to study the many texts in its underground library, to write important documents and place them among the books in the library. The monastery was a continuously growing place of knowledge as texts were added to the librarys collection during the centuries.
The library was a vast vault of knowledge filling five floors. The first three floors were filled with many historical writings and scriptures while the last two were filled with ancient scrolls and lithographs piled among the printed literary works.
Simon Pen Rakshu, head of the monastery and professor of theology, treasured the library spending countless hours under the soft glow of candlelight studying the texts therein for it satisfied his thirst for knowledge. It was on one of these study sessions that he discovered the Germonik Scriptures.
The Germonik Scriptures was written by a follower of St. Ajora, Germonik, the disciple who betrayed St. Ajora by selling him to the Yudora Empire. It was a record of St. Ajoras activities, not the Ajora of the Church, but Ajora the man.
Once a devout believer in the teachings of Glabados, Simon lost his faith when he read the scriptures. But it inspired him to search for the truth.
At the same time, however, he was guilty for not bringing the truth into light because he was afraid that they would take the library away from him. So he kept the book hidden, translating the text whenever time permits.
He was quite a busy priest, however. Not only was Orbonne a place of knowledge, it was also a place of learning. Simon taught the students history and literature, encouraging them to study the numerous texts in the monasterys library to search for lifes answers within their pages.
He had taught many, the two notable students being Alma Beoulve and Princess Ovelia Atkascha. Both were bright young girls taking the lessons he taught to heart. During their stay, Simon had grown quite fond of them; proud to have witnessed their growth from innocent young girls to learned young women.
But, alas, their years together had drawn to a close.
As the Fifty Year War was coming to an end, Alma had received word that her father was dying and had rushed home to be by his side. Simon was saddened to see her go but glad to have taken a part in her growth.
A year after the War had ended, it was time to see Ovelia leave as well. Little did he know that it was to be a turning point in the history of Ivalice...
The monastery had become quiet after their departure, the library seeing fewer and fewer scholars. Simon retreated back into the library translating the Scriptures once more.
A few months passed...
Instead of the soft whisper of a page being turned, there was the clashing of steel ringing throughout the library.
Temple Knights had invaded the monastery!
Their mission was to search for the Holy Stone Virgo that was given to the monastery as proof of Ovelias status when she came to live in Orbonne. Simon had tried to stop their efforts, to protect the library from being pillaged, but he was easily opposed. He watched helplessly as fellow priests fell one by one, struck mercilessly by the swords of the knights.
The knights then turned on him, mortally wounding him. He watched through glazed eyes as they entered the library searching each shelf, pulling out each book, ruining the library he so loved before passing out.
He didnt know how long he had been unconscious but when he came to, he saw a familiar face filled with concern. Alma... Why...are you...here? he asked weakly, his voice coming out in a soft whisper.
What happened? Alma asked anxiously.
Simon then explained the knights intention of stealing the stone and the Churchs ambition regarding the stones. He wanted to say more but fell unconscious once again...
The next time he awakened, he found Alma gone and the library quiet. Summoning what strength he had left, he slowly walked out of the library in search of the one person that could bring the Church to justice.
He found the person outside of the monastery, who quickly turned to him and helped him as he breathed raggedly, his breath coming out in short uneven gasps. Knowing that his time was short, he gave the young man the Germonik Scriptures hed painstakingly translated for days, explaining the importance of the book.
He let out a sigh. Now I can finally rest. Take care of the rest... Ramza.... You're just like Balbanes... when he was young. With those last words, Simon Pen Rakshu, head of Orbonne Monastery, died peacefully in Ramzas arms.
Simon had finally found peace but the monastery did not.
A year after the tragic events that had last transpired within monastery grounds, Temple Knights once again invaded it. This time they were to open the gate to Murond, the city of death, the place where St. Ajora truly died.
Who would have thought that such a seal existed in the monastery? Was it the monasterys true purpose to hide such a seal, to make it look like it was a place of knowledge with all those books in the underground library when in fact it was the gateway to death?
Surprisingly, no one knew. Not one of the books in the library contained the history of the monastery. Even the Church was a bit skeptical about its existence. But it does not matter now that the monastery is empty.
Or has been.
Rad, while on the run from the Church, had thought desperately on where to hide. He went through all the available options in his head and not one presented a good solution. He then remembered a rumor regarding Orbonne Monastery and how it was believed to be haunted. Since the populace was very superstitious, he knew that they wouldnt enter such a place and deemed the monastery a perfect place to hide.
As the building loomed ahead, he urged his chocobo onward relieved to finally have found a place of sanctuary.
The knight had never thought that he would return to this place of beginnings and ends. It was here that his journey with Ramza had truly begun and it was here that it had ended.
And, perhaps, this is the place where another quest would begin...
He chuckled at that thought as he dismounted his chocobo, which ran off, probably back to its owner. He didnt take notice of it, however, as he stared at the desolate building and its surroundings.
Weeds had grown wild around the monastery overrunning the stone walkway that led to the thick wooden entrance of the stone building. Cutting his way through, Rad reached the portal and opened it with little effort.
Rad felt the cold air rush up to his face as though the wind sought release from the confines of the monastery. As he entered, his nose crinkled at the musty smell that filled the atmosphere, which reminded him of the underground library.
Unlike the underground library, however, sunlight filtered through the windows that surrounded the monastery walls illuminating the chapel. The feeling of nostalgia overcame the knight as he walked further into the chapel, the memories coming unbidden to his mind.
When he reached the altarthe same altar where Princess Ovelia had prayedhe felt compelled to kneel and pray, to give thanks to God for providing this place of sanctuary even though he wasnt at all religious.
After his little prayer, he stood up and decided to look for the living quarters. He had a feeling that he would be staying here for a very long time...
But he wasnt to be staying alone.
A couple of days after his arrival he caught sight of Mustadio and his father arriving in a strange boat. They pulled up at the dock behind the monastery as he was about to go fishing at the end of that very same dock. He couldnt believe his eyes and neither could Mustadio.
Both were happy to see each other alive and well and Rad invited them to stay at the monastery as long as they wished. The Bunanzas gladly took his offer, adapting to their new home as easily as Rad.
The former knight was relieved to have such company in this time of uncertainty. They were safe, having no plans of leaving the safety of the monastery anytime soon.
The weeks passed by quickly, uneventfully.
Then one day...
Mustadio stoked the fire of the large stone fireplace in the kitchen of the monastery while his father sat at a table carving the two huge fish his son had caught at sea. Once the Engineer got the fire blazing, he poured water into the iron pot that hung over the fire before joining his father at the table slicing the vegetables that would go with the fish.
There was a peaceful silence as father and son prepared the midday meal. Mustadio soon finished with the vegetables and threw them into the pot, stoking the fire afterwards.
Soon Besrodio came over and tossed the slices of fish into the pot. Ill go fetch Rad, Besrodio offered afterwards as he made his way to the door.
No, father, Mustadio immediately protested grabbing his fathers arm. Ill fetch him, he said. Just stay here and look after the stew.
Before Besrodio could agree, their subject of conversation suddenly burst into the kitchen with a haunted look on his face. Mustadio, come quickly! Rad exclaimed breathlessly, urgently. Someone is coming!
Mustadio immediately became alarmed. Stay here, father! he shouted as he followed Rad out of the kitchen.
Be careful! Besrodio shouted after his son wondering if he heard his message. He then sighed as he turned towards the pot and began stirring the stew with a wooden ladle.
Do you know how many there are? Mustadio questioned Rad as both men ran through the chapel towards the entrance.
I dont know, Rad replied as they reached the wooden portal. When I caught sight of them, I came immediately to get you. He pulled the door open and both men stepped out of the monastery and quickly hid in the brush.
Where did you see them? Mustadio questioned as he took out a small instrument from his bag.
Rad looked curiously at the tool. It was a small tube, both ends affixed with glass. Towards Dorter, the brown-haired knight replied. He then watched as the Engineer looked through the device.
And became puzzled when he began to laugh.
Friends! Mustadio cried out in joy. Our friends have come!
Friends? Rad repeated dubiously. Are you sure? They could be mercenaries who are brave enough to explore this so-called haunted monastery.
The Engineer shook his head. Here, he said as he handed Rad the tool he just used. Look through this spyglass and tell me what you see.
Rad took the proffered device, looking at it skeptically, before gazing through it. He let out a small cry once he peered through the glass, surprised at what he saw. He then placed the device down and looked towards the direction he was gazing at previously with thewhat did Mustadio called it?spyglass and saw only a small cloud of dust indicating that someone was approaching. But when he looked through the device again, he saw clearly who was approaching.
Mustadio was right! Their friends have come! He could see Orlandu walking in the lead wearing his usual brown cloak. Behind him was Beowulf carrying a boy in his arms and Reis walking besides them. He then saw three chocobos behind the group, two carrying female riders, knight maidens that were very familiar to the knight. But he did not see another that should have accompanied the two knight maidens and that troubled him. He then remembered the news of a heretic being caught.
Agrias is not with them, Rad whispered sadly as he placed the device down.
What? Mustadio questioned unsure of what Rad was speaking about.
Agrias is not with them! the knight repeated more loudly. Here! Take a look! He thrust the spyglass into Mustadios hands, who took it and peered into it. Lavian and Alicia are there, Rad explained as Mustadio continued to peer through the glass. But not Agrias. You know those two dont go anywhere without her, which means one thing...
That shes been caught, Mustadio finished as he placed the spyglass down. Rad nodded solemnly. But we dont really know that, the Engineer argued.
Perhaps, Rad said gravely.
A half an hour later, Orlandus group arrived at the monastery and was surprised to be greeted by Mustadio and Rad. All exchanged pleasantries and, as Rad before him, Mustadio invited the weary group into the monastery. They gladly took the offer, picketing the chocobos before entering the stone building where a meal awaited them.
Besrodio was taking a sip of the brew to see if it was properly cooked when suddenly, the door to the kitchen burst open accompanied by the sound of laughter as Mustadio entered followed by his guests. He assumed that they were the ones that Rad had announced of their approach.
He heard his son bid his visitors to take a seat at the table while he prepared their meal. Is the food ready yet, father? his son asked as he went by his side.
Ready, Besrodio nodded. Go get the bowls.
Mustadio went to do his fathers bidding, going into one of the cupboards and taking out a bunch of wooden bowls. Fortunately when they had first came here, they were relieved to find that the kitchen was well stocked with enough supplies to feed a battalion of knights. So it wouldnt be a problem to feed a few more extra mouths.
The Engineer then returned to his father, who began ladling out broth and fish. He then went to serve his guests that were looking forward to the meal after their long journey from Doguola Pass. After seeing his last guest served, Mustadio took a bowl for himself and joined the others, his father among them.
I doubted that wed find anyone here, he heard Beowulf state to Rad as he sat down. But Im glad to find that my doubts have been proven wrong. Its good to see more of our friends are alive and well. Orlandu was right in bringing us here.
The old knight nodded. Yes, it would seem that I had guessed correctly.
What made you guess that there would be anyone here? Mustadio questioned curiously. My father and I just came here by luck, not to mention its the only place near the sea.
You mean you havent heard the rumors? Rad asked incredulously.
What rumors? the Engineer asked innocently. The former knight just slapped his face and groaned.
My son and I dont go out often to the bar, Besrodio said defending Mustadio. As he said, its the only place near the sea where we could dock the hovercraft we found in the underground mines while we were escaping.
You escaped by sea? Lavian inquired astonished and Besrodio nodded. Thats much simpler than escaping by foot.
With a brigade of knights chasing your back, Alicia added darkly. If it werent for Beowulf and Orlandu showing up at the right time, we wouldve been captured. Those mercenaries and Shrine Knights are so persistent.
Rad nodded in understanding. I know how that feels like, he said. I barely managed escape myself. At least you had the help of Orlandu and Beowulf, but Im sure you would have beaten those knights yourselves with Agrias watching your backs as always. He then looked thoughtful as he asked innocently, Where is she anyway? Why isnt she with you? The question was aimed specifically at Lavian and Alicia, who now wore dark expressions as the rest of their companions.
A sense of dread filled Mustadios belly upon seeing such expressions. Something has happened, he whispered ominously.
Please tell us, Rad urged anxiously. Weve been living in this monastery in isolation for the past month and havent heard any news regarding the search.
Its not for me to tell, Orlandu said as he stood up. He then turned to Mustadios father and smiled as he said, Thank you for the stew, Besrodio. It was quite delicious. Now if youll excuse us, he motioned to Beowulf and Reis and their son, well take our leave. Im sure youre all eager to hear what Lavian and Alicia have to say.
With that said, Orlandu left the kitchen. Beowulf and Reis stood to leave as well, saying their thanks before following the old knights example. When they had left, the trio of men looked towards the two women.
Where should we begin? Lavian asked.
Beowulf saw to it that his family was settled. They found a sparse room, one among many others, in the living section of the monastery. A bed stood in one corner of the room that was big enough only to fit one person. Across the bed against the other corner of the room stood a simple dresser. By the window at the side of the room where light filtered in was a wooden chair.
The former Temple Knight frowned upon such furnishings but what could he expect from the priests that used to live here? They did not look to earn many material possessions for they believed that they are rewarded more precious things when they die and pass on to Heaven. They lived a simple life, only acquiring essential things. Their rooms were a testament to their simplistic existence.
Beowulf sighed. It seems that he has to sleep on the chair while his wife and son have the comfort of the bed...
Orlandu stood outside the monastery gazing at his surroundings. He could hear the waves lapping against the dock at the back, could hear the grass rustle as the wind blew. Orbonne Monastery was isolated, apart from the world of Ivalice. Many had sought its solitude, to live apart from the rest of the world to escape its troubles.
But were not here to escape it, Orlandu thought as he made himself comfortable sitting at the edge of the stone walkway. Were here because its the only place we have sanctuary. No one will bother us here giving me time to think of our next move. We still have to find the others, thats for certain. But where do we start?
As these thoughts crossed his mind, he didnt notice someone approaching until they spoke, You seem troubled. Whats on your mind, old friend?
The old knight was startled, his hand automatically making its way to his sword. But he stopped when he saw that it was only Beowulf.
The former Temple Knight smiled as he took a seat next to Orlandu. He then sighed as he stared at the plains of grass that spread out before them.
Orlandu looked at Beowulf. The former Temple Knight and his family was the closest thing he has to a family. After they had gone their separate ways, he didnt realize then that they would meet again at the same place afterwards: at Mount Randoria. He found it ironic that the reason Beowulf chose the place to hide was the same as his: because no one climbs Mount Randoria any longer.
Since he was there already, he decided to stay with the former Temple Knight. They had built their home together and lived together as if they were family. When Reis gave birth to Draco, he joined in their celebration. They even permitted him to hold the child. At that very moment, he felt that he was part of the family.
His mind was suddenly snapped back into the present when Beowulf asked, Orlandu, are those wild chocobos?
The old knights head snapped upwards as he asked, Where?
There, Beowulf said pointing towards a disturbance amid the grass.
Orlandu looked to where the former Temple Knight was pointing and immediately recognized the yellow feathers of the great birds. Yes, the old knight nodded. Theyre probably just passing through the plains.
After a few moments, however, they took note that the flock of giant birds was heading towards them. Strange, Orlandu muttered as he stroked his beard in thought. Why are they coming here?
Perhaps because they caught sight of our own chocobos, Beowulf suggested waving his hand towards the three picketed chocobos to the side of the monastery.
Orlandu turned to gaze at them. All three stood erect, their eyes focused on the approaching flock. Suddenly, one began to wark and flap its wings in a manner that warned of danger. Soon all three were warking and flapping their wings wildly.
Puzzled by their behavior, Beowulf asked, Whats going on with them?
Orlandu remembered an important fact concerning their feathered steeds. Chocobos have very good eyesight, being able to see danger a mile away, perhaps more. It was this fact that made Orlandu act, his hand immediately going to the hilt of his sword. Danger! he shouted as he drew out his weapon. They are warning us of danger!
What?! the former Temple Knight cried out in disbelief. He turned towards the flock they had seen and saw the flash of armor as they came closer. No, it cant be! Those are!
Shrine Knights! Orlandu finished for him. Hurry and warn the others! he instructed Beowulf hastily. Ill hold them off!
You cant fight them all yourself! Beowulf protested rebelliously. Ill He was cut short when Orlandu swung his sword towards him in a threatening manner.
Do not make me repeat myself, the old knight threatened in a low tone. Or Ill fight you also. Now do as I say, Beowulf.
The former Temple Knight knew it was no use to argue with the old one. He nodded once before running off into the monastery.
Orlandu clenched his teeth as he adapted a battle stance, hefting his Venetian Shield in his left hand and holding his Chaos Blade in his right. Shrine Knights, he thought disgustingly. How did they know where to look?
That question hung in his mind as he waited for his enemies to arrive. He counted about fifteen of them, their red capes unmistakable against the yellow feathers of the chocobos. As soon as they reached the vicinity of the monastery, they dismounted their chocobos and slowly approached him.
Cidolfas Orlandu? one of them asked.
Yes? Orlandu replied a bit puzzled by their display of modesty.
You are under arrest for the crime of heresy, the Shrine Knight continued formally. Please relinquish your sword and come with us to Lesalia to be tried. Resist and we will use force.
Orlandu chuckled, his eyes gleaming dangerously. Then I guess you must take me by force, he smirked as he shifted his stance, his sword glowing slightly.
I wish it didnt have to come to this, a voice declared apologetically, a voice that sounded very familiar to the old knight.
The Shrine Knights parted as a figure came forwarda figure Orlandu knew too well. He clutched his sword tighter as he growled softly, Meliadoul! You dare betray us?!
Meliadoul lowered her head to hide her face within the hood of her cloak for she could not bear to look at the old knight whom she had called friend, whom she had fought side by side with. She couldnt stand at the look of her betrayal for she could hear it in his voice. In a soft, anguished tone, she said, Forgive me, Orlandu, but I am bound to perform my duties as a Divine Knight.
So thats how it is, Orlandu stated in a grave tone. You used your rank to escape imprisonment. I have thought that you were made of better mettle. It seems that I have thought wrong.
Orlandus harsh words stung Meliadouls heart. I have not done anything, she whispered painfully after a moments silence. Then in a stronger voice continued, I would have gladly gave up my rank, gave up my tongue! I would have gladly joined Agrias at the chains but I was denied all of these things! She gave a shuddering sigh. All of these things because I wasama Divine Knight... she finished softly.
Orlandu seemed unconvinced, however. Then why are you here? he challenged her. You vowed that you wouldnt be bound by the Church any longer. Why have you gone back on that vow?
The heretical Divine Knight was shocked. Can he not see that it was difficult as it is for her to arrest the people that she had called allies? Can he not see that she didnt desire this to be so? Can he not see that she is suffering right now?
Before she could utter a response to Orlandus challenge, there came an explosion behind the group that rocked the very ground itself. The Shrine Knights under Meliadouls command immediately drew their weapons as they looked around for the source of the explosion. Their chocobos warked in alarm but surprisingly, did not flee.
Meliadoul, too, looked for the source of the explosion. She then caught sight of the source in the form of a grinning young man with a ponytail holding a strange object in one hand.
Hello! Mustadio greeted cheerfully at the many Shrine Knights that were pointing their weapons toward him. Regardless of the danger they pose, the Engineer continued in his cheerful disposition as he threw the item he heldthe item he had found in the minesto one of the knights and said, Here! Catch!
The knight reacted immediately, catching the object in his hands. As soon as he caught it, Mustadio quickly ran away while nearby knights went closer to look curiously at the object.
But Meliadoul wasnt fooled. No, you idiot! she screamed as she ran towards the knight. Throw it a
She didnt get the chance to finish her instruction as the object in the knights hands suddenly exploded, immediately killing the knight and all those surrounding him. The shock of the explosion threw her back. Shed never seen a small item with such a huge explosive force. What is that?! she breathed in disbelief. That item had instantly killed six of her knights!
Dynamite! Mustadio exclaimed merrily as he appeared among the tall grass holding the said object in one hand and his gun in the other. An excellent mining tool really, he continued unperturbed, but I can see that it has other uses as well.
His cheerful expression suddenly turned serious as he pointed his gun at Meliadoul. I pity you, Meliadoul, for betraying us like this, he said grimly. Now if you dont want to witness any more explosions, I suggest that you and your knights leave immediately or all of you shall perish here beneath the spire of this monastery. As he spoke, Rad, Lavian, and Alicia emerged from their hiding place within the tall grass and drew out their swords ensuring the knights departure.
Meliadoul saw her hope shatter before her as she stared helplessly at her former allies who wouldnt hesitate to kill even her. She had prayed that they would be able to aid her in her current dilemma but now that seemed an impossible dream, unattainable by any means necessary. There was only one thing left to do...
She sighed as she drew her sword. I wish it didnt have to be this way, she murmured sorrowfully. She then looked up to gaze at each of their faces, her grief suddenly replaced by cold determination.
You are all under arrest for the crime of heresy! she cried out in a clear voice. Lay down your weapons and come with us peacefully! Resist and we shall use force! The choice is yours!
You know our answer already, Meliadoul, Orlandu replied grimly. We will fight and none of you will leave here alive.
Meliadoul was about to say something in retaliation to the old knights claim but was suddenly interrupted by a shout from one of her knights.
The knight, the one that had first greeted Orlandu, snickered. I think not, old man, he scoffed.
Meliadoul whirled around to glare at the knight, angry at the fact that he was taking the situation lightly. Gerald, stand down! she ordered. Theres no need for provocation!
Silence, wench! Gerald retorted. We are not bound to take orders from you anymore now that we have found our quarry.
Before Meliadoul realized what was happening, she was struck in the front by two arrows. What...?! she exclaimed breathlessly as she faltered. She was then struck again, this time at the back, by two more arrows. The Divine Knight fell to one knee, leaning heavily on her sword to keep aright.
Meliadoul! Orlandu shouted. He then glared at the knight and demanded, Why? Why did you shoot one of your own?
Gerald snickered once more. She wasnt one of us to begin with, he stated scornfully. Father Jaren only used her to get what he wants: all of you. Now that her usefulness has ended, shes expendable. Despite her family history, he would not dare think of restoring her to the Church but he took it into consideration. Be glad for your friend for she has been granted the luxury of death unlike the rest of you will have.
So...thats how it is... Meliadoul gasped softly as she rose slowly despite the pain that flared throughout her body, the arrows scraping against bone and muscle. If I...must die...then Im taking you...with me! Her sword suddenly flared brightly.
Armor wont help the heart stay sharp... she intoned, grimacing as she felt more arrows pierce her flesh. Shellbust Stab! She swung her sword towards Gerald, who cried out in agony as a magical curved blade sprang from the ground and pierced through his armor shattering it.
With that deed done, Meliadoul fell to the ground, her sword falling from weakened fingers, her strength spent.
This small act brought everyone into full wakefulness realizing the threat the Shrine Knights posed.
Beowulf! Orlandu shouted as he raised his shield to deflect the arrows that were suddenly aimed at him. Now would be a good time!
The hidden Temple Knight replied by reciting a summoning spell: Bear down with land energy! Titan!
The wind suddenly picked up, the surrounding grass beginning to thrash around wildly. Suddenly, a giant flew from the ground clothed only in a loincloth, ready to stomp the earth below. With a roar, he struck the ground with his feet before melting back into the earth from whence he came.
The ground suddenly seemed to have a life of its own. It shifted beneath the Shrine Knights feet uncontrollably, being raised and lowered or swinging from side to side. Knights cried out as they fell to the ground only to find that the ground was not the ground any more but a plateau up in the air ready to fall.
And fall they did.
They screamed as they saw the earth flying towards them at incredible speeds and screamed no more as they landed. As soon as the attack had commenced, it quickly ceased.
Orlandu saw that the summon took out most of the knights, as he had hoped. Seeing that the others were capable of defeating the rest of their enemies, he sheathed his sword as he immediately rushed to Meliadouls prone form followed by Beowulf, who had suddenly appeared by his side.
Both men feared that they would find her dead, too late to help her. That fear, however, partially dispelled when they saw her breathing raggedly, as if each breath would be her last. She was still alive, but barely.
They knelt by her, one on each side, assessing her wounds. Grief gripped their hearts upon seeing all the arrows that had pierced her as if she was a practice dummy. Being veteran soldiers, they knew with heavy hearts that she was beyond help.
Beowulf... Meliadoul suddenly called in a raspy voice surprising the two men.
The former Temple Knight gently took her hand seeing that her eyes were dimming. The Divine Knight was losing her battle with death.
Yes, Mel? he asked her gently. What is it?
Meliadoul smiled briefly, fleetingly, the short name bringing back memories of their quest. They had begun to call her Mel shortly after she had joined the group for they complained that Meliadoul took too long to pronounce. She didnt mind the least, finding the diminutive quite endearing.
Will you...forgive me...? she asked weakly. She found that it was becoming difficult to speak, to keep her eyes open, even to breathe.
For what? Orlandu asked solemnly and Meliadouls eyes shifted to him. The old knight smiled faintly as he continued, You have done nothing wrong to ask for forgiveness, Mel. The Church deceived you without you knowing.
Meliadoul was touched by her friends concerns and relieved to find that they still trusted her. Grimacing, she slowly reached for something in her cloak, pulling out a small package afterwards. Here... she whispered as she handed the package to Beowulf, who took it carefully. Give this to... she paused as she took a shuddering breath before continuing, to...family...held in...Lesalia... Please...save them...
The light of revelation suddenly lit up in Orlandus mind, piecing together all the things that Meliadoul have said. You were forced to betray us, werent you? he asked gravely.
Yes... she replied, her voice gradually growing weaker. Promise me...youll save them... she continued, her voice barely above a whisper. Her eyes began to flutter close, her breathing slower.
Orlandu saw that her time was near. He nodded and said, You have my word, Mel. Rest now. Be at peace.
Thank...you... she sighed as her eyes closed for the final time.
And with those words, Meliadoul Tingel, the Divine Knight that had threw away all she had believed to join Ramza in his quest for the truth, died.
Rain and pain.
Funny how the two words sound alike to Alicia for they certainly go hand in hand. It had rained when Princess Ovelia was kidnapped from Orbonne; it had rained shortly after Agrias trial; it had rained while she was trying to escape from the numerous search parties at Doguola Pass...
And now it rained at the death of a friend.
It had begun with a light drizzle. They had finished defeating all of the Shrine Knights and hurried on their way back to the monastery to see what had become of their wounded friend.
But they werent ready for what they would find.
The light drizzle gradually turned into heavy rain when they had finally reached the stone walkway of the monastery. When they had arrived, they saw Beowulf fold Meliadouls hands on her chest before standing up. Orlandu turned as the group approached and shook his head sadly.
They understood then that their friend was gone...
The rain continued to pour as the men dug a shallow grave for their fallen friend in front of the monastery. It was hard work for the rain had turned the ground into mud but they persisted with the belief that their friend deserved an honorable burial, one that she would not have received had she died as a captive of the Church.
Now the task was done, their friend buried. Orlandu stood in front of the group that had gathered to say their final farewells, holding Meliadouls Save the Queen sword that was to serve as her grave marker. He slowly raised the magnificent weapon above his head and as he did, the rain gradually ceased. The clouds steadily parted, the light of the setting sun igniting the swords blade in white brilliance.
The old knight stepped forward solemnly, the weapon still raised. He then reversed the blade and struck it onto the dirt mound marking Meliadouls grave before stepping back. No words can describe how we all feel today, he began mournfully. We have found and lost a friend. We must not be sad but happy for she was able to escape this world of suffering. Though she is gone, she will be with us always in our hearts. May her soul rest in peace...
After Orlandus small eulogy, the group stood in silent mourning as the sun sets...
Later that night, Orlandu watched as Rad, Lavian, and Alicia gathered the bodies of the dead Shrine Knights. He ordered their bodies to be burned instead of being buried for it would take too long. He did not plan on staying here any longer.
Thats the last of them, Lavian gasped as she dropped the last body along with the others. Lets burn them.
Orlandu frowned. If he had counted correctly, the trio only collected fourteen bodies. Wait, he said as Rad was about to apply the torch. Theres one body missing.
The trio of knights looked puzzled. Are you sure? Alicia asked doubtfully. We collected all the bodies that we could find.
Yes, Im sure, the old knight nodded. I counted fifteen when they first came and, he added pointedly when he saw that Lavian was about to say something, that does not include Meliadoul. He knew that he had answered the knight maidens question when he saw her mouth closed.
Then that means one escaped! Rad exclaimed alarmed. We have to go after him before more Shrine Knights invade this place!
Contrary to Rads surprise, the old knight remained strangely at ease. Dont worry, he said calmly. Well be gone from this place come morning.
The trio was shocked by the news. Where will we go? Lavian asked in concern. Where will we stay?
Dont worry, the old knight repeated in a way that halted any more arguments. He then motioned to Rad to finish his task of torching the bodies. The knight nodded, stepping forward and lighting the wood that surrounded the bodies with the torch he held. He then stepped back as the fire spread through the wood.
Soon a blaze roared sending embers high into the night sky as Orlandu, Rad, Lavian, and Alicia watched the flames dance, the light flickering on their haggard faces, the events of the day emotionally draining.
Why? Alicia spoke softly after a few minutes of reflective silence. Why did this have to happen?
All had the same question but none had an answer. They continued to stand in thoughtful silence, watching the flames beginning to die with the same question being repeated in their minds...
The sun crept slowly over the horizon in greeting to those who were gathered once more at Meliadouls grave, the sword gleaming faintly under the light. A breeze blew gently, rustling through the surrounding grass, caressing each of their faces, drying their tears. It was time for them to move on, if not for their sake, then for their departed friend.
Orlandu gazed sadly at the sword whose light grew brighter as the sun rose higher. He then looked to Mustadio, who was standing besides him, and nodded.
The Engineer nodded in return, taking out four sticks of dynamite bundled together from his bag. He then turned towards his father who, after a few tries with the flint, managed to ignite the fuses of the bundle of dynamite. As soon as the fuses lit up, Mustadio ran towards the monastery and threw the dynamite into the open portal of the stone building. He then rejoined the group and watched as the dynamite exploded, destroying the twelve-century year old building.
The ground shook as stone and wood showered all over the place. Once it died down and the dust cleared away, Orbonne Monastery was no more. A mound of stones was all that was left of the place of learning.
Perhaps the rumors were true about Orbonne being haunted for it was truly a cursed place. It had witnessed many tragedies that had taken place within its walls, within its grounds...
But no longer.
Let us go, Orlandu said as he turned around and started walking away from the ruin. The group followed silently, not one of them turning to look back, trying to leave the place behind...
...and the sad memories that revolved around it.
Final Fantasy Tactics Fanfic