Trials of the Valiant Chapter 14
By The RPGenius
All of Ramza's friends watched in shock and horror as a cascade of boulders came crashing down to bury Ramza. All but Agrias. Her bodyguard instincts instantly kicked in, and she found herself running forward, jumping, and knocking Ramza and herself further into the cave, out of the way of the falling rocks.
Agrias stood, brushed herself off, and turned to Ramza. "Are you okay, Ramza?"
He stood up next to her. "I'm fine," he replied, "though I'm not sure I would have been without you. Thanks."
"You're welcome," she replied. She turned to face the entrance, now completely sealed with a wall of rubble. "How do we get out now?"
Ramza studied the new wall and said, "I could have Worker 8 drill through, but this wall could be thick enough to have him drilling for days."
A sinister voice called out from further in the cave, "You needn't worry about getting out, Ramza Beoulve. I've worked hard to ensure that this cavern will be your grave!"
Ramza and Agrias spun around to see a cloaked figure emerge from the darkness. Flanking the figure were about twenty people of assorted job classes and a Worker-type robot.
The hooded leader continued. "Permit me to introduce myself. I am Syldreth, current leader of Lucavi's remaining mortal followers in Ivalice. It is now time to take revenge upon you for your crimes against Lucavi and his forces."
Syldreth's gaze shifted to Worker 8 (who had been far enough into the cave to escape harm from the avalanche) and Agrias. "I'm sorry that you had to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Miss Oaks, but then, you were going to be killed anyway. And you, Worker 8, could be useful once reprogrammed. We shall have to see. But enough talk. Soldiers! Worker 9! Destroy them!"
Agrias and Ramza drew their blades, and Ramza ordered Worker 8 into battle mode, but both warriors knew that against such odds, victory was a vain hope...
* * *
Alma turned around, ready to punish Duegran for his treachery, but stopped once she realized that two swords and a spear were pointed right at her. She could see that there was no use in trying to fight, at least at the moment. Looking around, she saw the others were in similar positions.
Duegran quickly issued orders to his men. "Good work, everyone! Now, tie them up. We'll wait for Syldreth's orders before killing them."
One particularly dull-looking grunt looked puzzled. "How is Syldreth going to get out of the cave with all those rocks in the way?"
Duegran fixed the man with an icy glare. "Fool. For one with a Zodiac Stone, such barriers are meaningless."
Alma gasped. A person with a Zodiac Stone? Ramza must have lost one! And if this person had one of the stones, perhaps they could become a Zodiac Monster. If that was true...then death was perhaps the best fate that awaited them.
Alma's fear was momentarily forgotten when she glimpsed who was tying her up. "Vantan! You traitor! How could you, after we saved you! I don't believe you!"
Vantan looked uncomfortable as he replied, "Please be quiet, Miss Alma."
Once tied up, Alma was dragged over to the rest. She whispered a question to the others. "Did they miss anyone? And can any of you move?"
Malak answered, "Boco and Byblos ran off, and I think Worker 8 is trapped with Ramza and Agrias. I don't know about anyone else, but I am very well-tied up. I'm not going anywhere for a while."
All the others were also too tightly bound to do anything. It looked to be an unpleasant wait for this Syldreth's decision on their fates.
* * *
Ramza furiously blocked and parried, but with ten attackers advancing on him, he didn't know how much longer he could ward off injury. Agrias couldn't help him, busy as she was with the rest of the human attackers.
Both Worker Robots were grappling with each other, stomping around and almost crushing their allies in their attempt to gain the upper hand.
As Ramza barely managed to defend himself against the many different weapons seeking his life, he saw that some of the magic-users were charging up spells, and knew that once those spells were ready, his chances of surviving would be nil, if that.
And suddenly it was too late. A Summoner called out Titan.
The monstrous Summoning Monster slammed into the ground to cause its usual earthquake attack. As it impacted, though, the floor shattered. Ramza, who had had no idea how deep this cave might be, or how thin the floor on this level apparently was, suddenly found himself standing on air. Down into the blackness he hurled, along with Agrias, Worker 8, a Knight, and two Wizards. The last thing he saw was the hooded figure of Syldreth watching him, laughing...
* * *
Syldreth watched the falling figure of Ramza. She dearly hoped he'd survive the fall to wherever he was headed; Syldreth wanted the pleasure of killing him herself.
She turned to her men. "I want every man in this cave searching for them. If you find them, don't hesitate to kill Agrias. But don't kill Ramza if at all possible. I'll do that myself."
A Knight asked, "What about all those little monsters that we've seen in this cave? Shall we just ignore them? They hide whenever they see us."
Syldreth shrugged impatiently. "Kill them for pleasure if you wish. Just don't let them interrupt your search." She turned to her robotic servant. "Worker 9! Stay here at the entrance. If you see Ramza, or his companions, kill them!" With that, she teleported outside the cave to check if Duegran could handle himself alone.
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