Trials of the Valiant Chapter 10
By The RPGenius
Duegran quickly walked down the streets of Murond Death City. He was incredibly tired. Organizing everthing after the chaotic sign-up had been no easy task, but that was his specialty.
Tired as he was, he felt he had to give a report to Syldreth. Exhaustion was no exuse to shirk one's responsibilities.
He entered her quarters. As he walked in, he felt himself lifted into the air. Squirming, he managed to turn himself around, and saw glowing red eyes peering at him.
Syldreth, further in her chambers, called, "That's enough, Worker 9, you may put him down."
Duegran dropped to down on the floor. He disliked Worker 9's Bodyguard program. It was not the first time this had happened, and Duegran found it painful and humiliating.
Syldreth came to stand before him. "You have something to report?"
Duegran got to his feet and brushed himself off, saying, "I was just going to tell you that all the soldiers are organized and awaiting your command."
"Excellent. I have a plan to defeat Ramza. First, you must..."
As Duegran listened, he nodded. This was a fairly good plan, if a bit complex.
Syldreth carefully went over every detail of the plan for half an hour. Duegran had only one question.
"Please forgive me for saying so, but this plan is rather complex, and will require a lot of careful planning. Is there no easier way?"
Syldreth looked at him in contempt. "And how do YOU think we should do it?"
Duegran shrugged. "Why not just send a few assassins to take care of him? Celia and Lede were hardly the only qualified Assassins in these forces. I could find some very good ones to carry out the task."
Syldreth's voice was full of contempt. "May I remind you that Celia and Lede were Ultima Demons. The shock troops of Lucavi's armies. They were as good assassins as there could be, and they failed. They failed to stop Ramza, even when they were forced to abandon their guises of humanity and showed their true colors. How would a normal human assassin hope to succeed where they failed? And don't forget, Ramza has a Worker robot, too. A newer version, in fact. That one would certainly have a bodyguard program designed specifically to deal with such things. And finally, there is that Holy Knight, Agrias. She was one of the best bodyguards in Ivalice, for Princess Ovelia. Do you honestly not believe that she would be well trained to take care of such attacks?"
"Well," Duegran continued, "then why not simply attack him with our full might? Not even he could fight off an army."
The contempt in Syldreth's voice only grew. "Oh, exellent idea. Let's march an army around Ivalice. THAT wouldn't attract much attention, especially from King Delita. Don't you think he might not like an unknown army in his kingdom? We can't afford to start a war with him yet. And you don't think that once Ramza hears there's an army looking for him, he won't go into hiding? It was hard enough to determine that he's in Goug. If he goes further into hiding, we might never find him. My ambush is fine. Now, unless, you have some other piece of useless advice, you may leave."
As Duegran walked out, Syldreth called out a warning. "Don't forget: Sleeris may have a good temper, but I don't. The next time you question my orders, it will be your last."
* * *
Mustadio was pleased with himself. Through many hours of work, and selling some of his inventions, he had managed to raise a decent amount of gil for his father to live on for a little while. Now, Mustadio could join up with Ramza again for a little while.
He looked out the window. He had sent a message to the tavern keeper to give the milk-drinking man: to come along whenever he had time. He hoped that Ramza had received it.
Almost on cue, there was a loud knocking on the door. Thinking that it must be Ramza, Mustadio hurried and opened it.
Before him stood Malak. In his arms, Rafa lay unconsious, blood flowing from a deep gash in her side.
* * *
Ramza had gotten to Mustadio's house later than expected. He had been delayed by saving Vantan, and now it was getting dark.
Ramza was about to knock when the door flew open. Mustadio stood before him, looking panicked. "Ramza! Thank God you're here! Give me that!" Mustadio grabbed the pouch where Ramza kept his various potions in and ran into another room.
Ramza ran after him, confused. When Ramza entered the room, he was horrified to see Rafa lying unconscious on a couch, bleeding profusely from a huge wound in her side. Malak looked over her, fear on his face, while Mustadio poured potions on the wound.
As everyone else entered, Ramza quickly went over and asked, "What happened? Who did this?"
Malak turned to him, looking shocked. "We were fired from our job, so we decided to come back here and join up with you again. We figured you 'd come back here eventually, so we made our way for this house. Then, out of nowhere, some guys jumped us! They never said anything, never acted as though they wanted anything, they just attacked! We beat them, but Rafa got hurt. I thought I should bring her here, I don't know where the town doctor is."
Mustadio turned to Malak, having used enough potions to stop the bleeding. "It looks like she's okay, but only a doctor could tell for sure. Should I get one?"
Ramza hated these moments. These moments when, as a leader, he had to make a decision. A decision that could meand the death of a friend and comrade.
"Yes," Ramza said reluctantly. "We just have to hope that the doctor won't recognize any of us." Ramza knew that he was risking all of their lives, but Rafa might die otherwise. He had seen enough death for a life time. He didn't need to see the death of yet another trusted comrade and friend.
Mustadio turned to Malak. "Hey, Malak, you should get some rest. You don't look so good."
Malak nodded wearily. The doctor arrived shortly, and began looking over Rafa. All Ramza and his allies could do was wait.
* * *
Alma couldn't stand being in the house with everyone sitting at the table, acting as though Rafa were already dead. She would live. She had to.
Alma stepped outside. Boco, sitting patiently outside the house, warked a greeting. Alma walked around the house to the back. Boco had decided to follow her. Perhaps he was bored.
As Alma came around the back, she saw a group of men looking for a way into the house. Seeing that they were up to no good, she tried to back away quietly, but Boco's angry wark at seeing intruders drew their attention.
With an ugly grin on his face, one of the men, a particularly nasty-looking thief, spat and said to his companions, "Well, looky here, boys. We don't gotta search for our next kill, they came to us. Kill her!"
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