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Apr 11, 04 at 1:24am ^FFT fanfic "The King's Man"
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Gariland Magic City
In the depths of the hidden vault of Gariland lay a key of chaos. Forged by the dark gods in order to maintain balance, the key lay untouched for almost a time forgotten since it's last usage by a man driven by evil. Thought to be destroyed, gone, vanished, it lay safely preserved in the vault, guarded by the holy order of St Konoe Knights and the priests of Narredwen Monastery.
The key bides it's time no longer. Black Materia! Awake!
Chapter 2 St.Konoe's artifacts
Heavy drops of rain pelted the grounds below, enormous water bullets smashing against the iron helmets worn by the church guards, making them into an ideal steel drum played by the force of nature itself. Early in the morning, 1:27am to be exact when last confirmed by the time mage, the guard grumbled and yawned. "What is the importance of guarding this late? There's nothing to steal in the temple is there?"
The older soldier, most assumably over 30 judging by his neck length beard, reminded the young soldier about the vault. "Aye! it's a boooring task me lad! but inside the vaults are artifacts of St. Konoe in his era."
"Pots and vases!" exclaimed the youth in sarcasm. A black humor.
A shadow lingered, as if taking interest in the conversation.
"Not a souls been in there since almost 600 years now. We may well better guess what's really inside." The youngman's empty look bade him to continue. "I heard tales lad, blizzard barnacles boy! The most common one ye hear all the time in taverns is that St Konoe came from a different dimension!"
The younger guard let out a snortish laugh. "Ha! Certainly you jest old man! Everyone knows St Konoe came from Goug and that's general knowledge. You're talking lunacies Torres!"
"It's possible Kaplan, Besrodio Bunanza a lead engineer has proven so by presenting a contraption he dug in the mine in the presence of his majesty king Delita, last week in the royal capitol." Torres squeezed rainwater out of his beard, he hated the pouring weather and began cursing both his rotten luck of being chosen to stand guard on such damned weather and his comrades who were lucky enough to patrol the interior of the monastery.
"Who goes there?!" Kaplan hurriedly drew his broadsword as a tall, dark stranger emerged from the shadows. Torres readied his mace though he found little reason to be afraid of the, cloaked figure. Judging by the look of his equipment, he seemed to be a mage of some sort.
Torres brushed past the reckless youth and addressed the stranger "State your business mage!"
Instead, without a warning the cloaked figure chanted a dark spell under his breath in the harsh forgotten tongue of demons before time. "Aurora, exhale bloody air! Dark Holy!" Kaplan barely had time to react. Unholy lights engulfed both his physical body and soul in dark fire, burning through him completely with no mercy. His grotesque remains scattered across the church yard as Kaplan's body blew up in pieces, his head lying few feet away from Torres standing in awed shock at Kaplan's sudden yet cruel death. Words were unnecessary as explanations of his enemy's motives were obvious, reduced to the rudimentary fundamentals of swordsmanship: Kill him before he kills you.
Torres had not recovered from the shock, but nonetheless charged the mage with fearless swings, his mace moving in motion with his arms as one whole. In response, the mage struck the mace in collision with his staff channeling it's momentum off course. "Die!" cried Torres as he brought down his mace at the least expected moment, bashing the mage across his abdomen. Or... so he thought as his weapon went through the hollow image, the mage had teleported behind him, brewing up another spell. "Death gods craving life, take their souls! Death!" as words left his mouth, Torres instantly fell to his knees and to the hard earth, feeling his soul escaping his grasp, leaving him behind as he fell lifeless on the mud strewn pathway now clean with Kaplan's remains and blood.
The mage not so even glanced a darting stare at his victims as he advanced towards the inner chambers of Narredwen Monastery. He dashed deeper into the chambers, his dark cloak trailing behind him as a shadow, concealing his master from head to toe and exposing only the slightly tanned hands of the mage as he constantly opened locks with a magical wave of his hand in practiced patterns. He progressed fast until confronted by a squire in his 4th chamber. The nameless mage met the Konoe squire's furious rush, arms extended to jab his blade into the mage.
Forced to a corner, the mage abandoned ideas of using magic to kill the squire and instead, sparing no time the mage struck the boy with few consecutive blows to the shoulder and his head, two of the less armored parts of his body. The boy drew his breath and managed a snapped yelp before the death blow silenced him forever.
The mage cursed as his expectations were soon met. He watched, while raising his staff, a half a dozen of St Konoe knights entered through the south where the mage had just came through. Formidable... he thought until from the north a quick paced footsteps were apparent, "Agrias, Leonard! Get him!" ordered the priest dressed in the heavy white robes of the feared pagan examiners. The Holy Knights accompanying him obeyed the commands, immediately drawing out their blessed swords emitting holy aura only noticed by the most faithful and those skillfully practiced in the art of magic.
Instantly realizing that the tables have turned with the arrival of more foes, the mage abandoned all hopes of defeating the 6 knights and two hard fighting Holy Knights and along with the lot, a dreaded addition of a Pagan Examiner who answered directly to the current leader of Ivalice, king Delita. Before any actions made, the mage escaped in a flash, as he employed the dark powers to immediately vanish from the scene. Although the encounter had been brief, barely enough to fully analyze the mysterious mage, it was however enough for the pagan examiner Egre Pen Rakshu to notice the familiar stench of blood magic hanging strongly about the stranger. Egre's cool azure eyes studied the surrounding, hearing, feeling, sensing the presence of that dark aura emitted from the fallen mage. His calm, serene voice spoke with powerful tone. "Search the corridors! And alert other knights!" he turned to the Holy Knights and gave brief orders before he dashed off with the lower knights into the search of the intruder. "Guard the artifact at all cost." Agrias could've sworn the order sounded as mighty as even the God's Ten Commandments. "Yes sir!" they replied in unison and set off towards the vault.
It was unnecessary search knowing that the mage had already fled to safety, well away from the church. Still... Egre found it all too proper as he couldn't bear to face the king should he fail him. Even worse, lives of Ivalice demanded him to keep the sacred artifact away from the hands reach of those who are willing to exploit its powers. He couldn't possibly even begin to imagine what horrors his own flesh and blood would bring, should the artifact fell into the hands of his own brother. "Keep searching!" he cried, immediately dismissing the thought.
Guards were far alert than usual as the sleepless hours progressed and morning had been announced by the crow of the church yard cock. The weather had been improving considerably since the departure of the lone shadow. One could have easily believed that the lone mage had even summoned the dark weather with him and later took it with him. The foul stench of rotting corpses dipped in mud and rain defiled the church yard close to the rear entrance of the monastery. If smell was indeed enough to kill, it deemed true as the horrid stink was enough to put 3 passing priests gasping for clean air all the while reminding any others what they had in their mornings fast. Smell of decay was however considered nothing compared to the brutally murdered soldiers of St Konoe. Nuns were forbidden access to the outside of the monastery by padre Gabrio. Only until the bodies had been removed and their churchyard purified of demonic spells he'd agree to lift the restriction. Padre Gabrio himself remained inside the church ever since the morning when he unfortunately sighted the demented corpses.
Egre had received long protests from Father Gabrio to leave the three corpses to be buried, rest in peace. It took equally long to convince the padre that he must inspect the corpses in minute detail as the duty of a pagan examiner. The padre's white skin had turned paler than usual as Egre mentioned the dead. "God, punish the wicked..." was all he said before retreating to his quarters, leaving Egre in charge of the corpses.
Accompanied by the Holy Knight, Leonard, Egre led him downstairs and into the stinking outdoors of the churchyard. Agrias voluntarily offered her hand in helping Egre's pursuit. He knew that Agrias felt the guilt of not being able to save Simon, his father from death. It wasn't her fault, but the fault of the infamous heresy Ramza who had been lifted of all crimes before the King's court months ago. In his silent prayers every morning, he secretly thanked the Lord high mighty for putting an end to the heretic's tainted soul.
"Should I start the inspection your Excellency?" asked Leonard, his gaze shifting from the 3 corpses to his charge. Leonard on the other hand had been specifically assigned to help him in his pursuit in the order of the king himself. It was already a known fact that Leonard was among Delita's most trusted house knight and rumors held him as closest to being called his friend. Egre wondered what the king saw in the boy. Once a farmer's lad who had lost his family due to a plague ,now a trained Holy Knight working from direct commands of the king. It had been a belief since the rule of king Denamunda that being assigned with the king's personal knight meant the king trusts you, and having Leonard assigned to him meant that that Delita trusted him enough. A great honor he thought, knowing that king Delita was renowned for his lack of trust in anyone whether that be his friends if he had any left, his grand advisors, his personal knights, or even his own wife, Queen Ovelia. But then Egre doubted his previous opinions on Ovelia. True, the king even went to the extent where he plunged a dagger into her heart. Had the royal chemists arrived a second late, she may well be dead. Strangely enough, Delita had softened up to his wife when she bore him an heir to his throne, prince Eurious. From his own close analysis of Delita, he was no exception to Delita's list of distrusts and concluded that the reason for Delita to assign his best knight to him was probably to keep an eye on him. Of course there was the possibly that his guess could have been far fetched though Egre doubted the possibility. Although he was known as the few people acknowledged as the king's men. It was natural for Delita to distrust him. Especially when the very person who chants in the demon tongue and plans to wield the sacred artifact is your very own brother. There is no mistake, Delita must have known his brother from the start or at least were informed by his right hand man, Olan the astrologist. A brilliant man with widely spread field of abilities in the power of politics.
"Study the cause of deaths. Look for any marks to indicate the use of which weapon and note it down. I'll deal with the use of magic." he said. He studied Leonard as the knight began to inspect the dead squire. Making accurate and precise decision on what weapon was used and how it was used. Too much in detail that it was almost enough to visualize the scene of battle easily. On top of that, Egre witnessed what dangerous tasks Leonard was capable of as they once passed sweegy woods. 2 against 7, Leonard made quick work of the bandits with Egre's supportive spells backing him. Perhaps not as dangerous as Delita, but nevertheless a dangerous man indeed.
Egre chose to investigate the cleanest corpse of the lot. Torres, a veteran of Lion wars would have looked almost as if he was asleep if it wasn't for his rolled eyes and purple lips. Interestingly, there were neither marks of weapon nor any sign of magical harm visible. Instead Egre reached a decision that magic was involved, Death spell in particular seemed obvious which ever angle he viewed. Death would have been the most logical choice for Egre as well, had he encountered two enemies alone.
"Milord, I have heard a vague rumor about our fugitive." Leonard spoke with clarity.
Rumors... this too was difficult to interpret as the word held double meaning to it. To Egre who had served Delita for 6 years since his crowning knew what rumors in political world meant. A disguised form of confronting the victim with evident truth to test their reaction and loyalty or to amuse oneself by observing the victim's response. Without waiting for his charge to respond he continued. "Some claiming the identity of our Dark Mage." Mind games were often played among those with certain extent of power. Rules are simple. Each participant must stay calm and talk only if necessary as to not allowing your opponent to gain any leverage over you. Leverages normally resulted as shocking scandals. Murder, gambling, whoring were often and rarely do they catch a holy man committing rapes. Egre, despite his hatred towards such games, he was used to it and it will take more than this knight to beat him to it. Egre asked in a very casual tone. "The identity of the mage you say... speak up man!"
Leonard took his eyes off his inspections and turned towards Egre in a wolf like manner. "I've heard our fugitive is none other than your own brother milord." his swift eyes darted a piercing gaze at his charge and never looked away. "I must say Leonard, your rumors may prove to be close to the truth. My brother had meddled with darkness since he was a boy, I'd not be surprised if I had to bring him in for his execution." a convincing answer and as far as Delita's trust is at stake, it is the right answer he thought. Disappointed with his answer, Leonard asked him no further questions and continued his inspections of the dead until Egre was satisfied. Brothers of Narredwen Monastery rushed out to perform their tasks immediately. Some carried the dead remains to the graveyard, while rest of the brothers started to spray salt on the bloodstained land, cleansing away the evil be soiled there with their soft chantings.
It had almost been a restless day from early morning to now, both soldiers and priests. Padre Gabrio sat across the table from Egre, next to him sat brother Hermann and Brother Joyce two of the higher ranking priest under the padre. 'Ironic' Egre watched both brothers who must've once sworn to the holy book to abandon power and authority to become a priest, yet sat next to the padre with some sense of authority in their minds, surely one may think even a mere moogle can become a better priest than them. Next to Egre, the two Holy Knights were seated either side of him, both wearing simple robes rather than their usual armors. Egre watched his companions dine. His eyes diverted occasionally to Leonard who seemed to be a completely different man in front of the fine wine and cuisines served. Indeed judging by his eating habits, he is or rather was a bandit of some sort at one stage of his life, or perhaps had to lead a mercenary life. A high possible chance indeed. He ate and drank making noises which captured the stares of dismay from the three priests sitting across the table. Agrias on the other hand could've easily passed for a fellow nun among the sisters in Narredwen. She dined quietly using fork and knife to snip small pieces from her share of the roast unlike Leonard who cared little for his barbaric table manner in front of the priests. By every angle Egre looked at her, she was calm and beautiful considering the fact that she was an exceptional soldier and once ranked second in command of the St Konoe Knights. It would have been an easy task to fool anyone that Agrias was either a nun or a lady of some noble house. Every bit about her today was convincing enough, except for her sword hanging loosely at her sides blew her cover instantly. As for himself? He didn't bother. He wore his usual attire, holy robe blessed by the arch bishop Grantas at the king's court and the cloak of authority.
It appeared that his earlier conclusive analysis were near truth. Leonard must've been told the so called rumor by Delita who in turn learned of this from Olan. Otherwise the padre would have interrogated the Pagan Examiner, had he listened to any tavern rumor of such. The padre finally broke the silence. "So... what is to become of the sacred item?" Piece of flesh flew across the room. "That will be taken by my charge to a safer place your lordship." Leonard swung his drumstick as he spoke with a tone familiar only in taverns operating late hours. Half embarrassed and half disgusted at Leonard's drunken stupor, Agrias intervened. "Milord, we will be taking the artifact to somewhere safer where no hands can reach them. Great pardons Padre, but we must leave early tomorrow with the artifact in our possession." The Padre frowned, possibly for having no control over the matters concerning the king. Brother Hermann whispered into his ear and the padre began. "Your request shall be met early morning, but we'd like to know what the king seeks among the artifacts?" the padre asked politely but even such manner was detected by Egre's penetrating look. Egre answered "We know not why and what it is. Only that it looks like a black crystal of sorts and that the king ordered us to retrieve it." It was a closed answer an indirect way of communicating the message "I will answer nothing." Information is or can be a powerful weapon. Brother Hermann must've known that...
"I see... I will have the artifact ready for you before your departure." the padre pursued the matter no longer, realizing that he was dealing with an expert. To sway away from the issue brother Joyce asked. "How are your defenses doing today sirs?" Leonard replied with confidence in his voice. "My men are stationed near the vault. Not even an ant can't get inside that vault!" Small hope they received from Leonard's confidence were immediately vanished as the door slid open and a figure stepped inside. A priest pushed aside the door with what once were his hands. Brother Joyce vomited at the sight of the priest's bloody stumps. "Dear Lord..." began the padre, his stare fixed on the priest. His white robes revealed deep cuts, blood seeping through the white material as if eating through it. "Father... Gab...Gabrio... the vault..is..." the bloody priest managed two struggling steps towards the padre before losing his breath and collapsing into a dead mass. Horrified with the shocking encounter the three priests lost their speech, unable to respond as if they met Death in person. "Padre! Padre!" Egre yelled at the stunned priest being aware of what kind of enemies his brother has with him. He immediately assumed command of both the soldiers and the church priests seeing how the priest was unable to respond. "Agrias, protect the padre and do not engage combat." she started to protest. "I will not stay here while my knights are in jeopardy." Egre threatened "Be out of sight! That's an order!" He ran outside with Leonard trailing behind him until he found his lodging to suit up for battle. Egre himself ran towards the death cries, towards the vault. Armed with a staff and holy magic, he prepared to engage darkness... his brother.
Hello dear readers, I'm back and this time with a new story. I have some odd twists which will be revealed more as the story progresses. I know, some twists are way out of hand. Delita being nice to Ovelia speaking of which is alive and well with Delita's son and Simon's sons featuring as my two main characters in this story.
Egre Pen Rakshu
Job: Rune Priest
Simon's second son. Like his father before him, Egre Pen Rakshu became a powerful Pagan Examiner to the church. A former Pagan Examiner of Glabados Church, he has captured many interests from different lords, and among them the king of Ivalice. With the fall of the church, Egre pledged his loyalty to king Delita as the king's man. Currently he is on a mission by the king's order to protect and bring the sacred artifact from the sealed chamber vault of St Konoe.
Nameless Mage (yet...)
Job: Dark Mage
Simon's first born and Egre's older brother. More will be learned later.
Job: Holy Knight
King Delita's most trusted knight and closest knight to being called his friend. As much as the king likes him, he is loyal only to the king's words and will also die if the king wishes it. Fiercely loyal to Delita since the day he was taken from the slums by Delita to raise him to become a knight.
Job: Holy Knight
She returned from the final battle in Murond. Before returning to St Konoe, she had been questioned several times by the king himself of what had happened to Ramza. Convinced that he is dead, king Delita did not question her any further and let her go. Although she insisted to once again claim the duty of Ovelia's protection, she has been rejected by king Delita and now helps Egre to protect the sacred stone of St Konoe.
Job: Padre (Priest)
The head priest of Narredwen Monastery. Though he had been titled Padre, he had not seen bloodshed ever before in his life and went into shock since the first night of deaths.
Rune Priest- Powerful priest who has the ability to punish the wicked in the name of God. They are the only priests able to commit violence in the name of god.
Dark Mage- Mage able to speak the language of Demons and furthermore even able to master their arcane magic which is known to have existed before god's time. Very little is known about them. (Rare)
Padre- Chaplain to the armed forces.
One by one they fell under the sword wielded by the forgotten knights until they were left with a lone Konoe knight fiercely fending off the dark intruders. As rumors foretold, St Konoe Knights proved to be hard fighters, unafraid of death. But even that did not save them from their grim fate. He counted the casualties. 4 knights in his company had fallen or too injured to continue otherwise to be left behind to die. But compared to their loss their enemies suffered far greater numbers. 7 knights, all lying dead, defiling the holy yard with their grotesque corpses. The last knight received a mortal blow to his rib cage followed by 3 blades thrusted into his abdomen as easily as plunging the sword into still water. "Lord Rakshu, your orders?" asked the leading knight to his left. "I have the stone in my possession, we will retreat now." the dark mage replied in his usual stoic voice. His knights obeyed immediately with their bloodied sword hanging loosely on their belts. He often wondered how the earl of Lionel managed to regroup them again. Such resourceful soldiers, perfect soldiers capable of carrying out orders with no objection and kills with no remorse very difficult to found in most knights throughout Ivalice. It was as if observing an undead skeleton warriors at his disposal, only that they were still considered a living humans judging by their full flesh.
"Bright light, shine down on bloody impurity! Holy!" cried a commanding voice as he approached the intruders with a novice priest trailing behind him. The dark mage felt a skin shredding pain rushing through his body as the holy ray of energy impaled him from toe to head soaring from the earth and through the mage only to be seen leaving his body and into the sky. "Ertai! Brother, surrender the stone or face god's anger!" cried the pagan examiner. It had been long since their last formal encounter, but Egre had no trouble recognizing his corrupt brother. Tall, medium build with a slight tanned yet charming face with his long flowing black hair now hidden beneath his cowl, his brother recovered his breath. Egre remembered his brother's lost nickname. "Prince of Darkness" judging by his interests in black magic and his dark characteristic traits. He'd often hated that name and frowned often during their childhood. It seemed to Egre that judging by his brother now, he wouldn't mind the nickname but rather enjoy it. "What are you scheming brother?!" demanded Egre.
Slowly recovered to his feet, Ertai smiled a wicked smile while glaring deathly at Egre. "Hello brother, scheming? We're fighting for justice! King Hyral is no fit ruler for Ivalice!" Egre knew his great dislike of Delita dating back to his crowning day. He remembered his brother in full fledged anger and frustration that day and the following weeks, how he'd rejected the new king's rule and often run into authority many a times before. But then, he wasn't such a powerful mage back then nor was he a cold killer. "He who stained his hands with so much blood to gain his crown does not deserve it. He betrayed father as well as the rightful ruler. Yet you serve him..."
Swords drawn and ready, the knights wearing the crest of the grey wolf stood facing Egre and the priest. "What? The crest of Touten? But they were disbanded years ago!" Egre played to be surprised to buy more time for Leonard to hopefully arrive in time with his promised reinforcements for their necessary ambush. He counted his enemies. 3 ninjas situated in the frontlines though away from his holy range, a summoner, lancer and a black mage stood with his brother leading them, two less skilled squires were stationed on the stairs to the tower and a lone monk standing closest to him than any other enemies. Total of 10 enemies against a novice priest whom Egre knew not his name and himself, pitifully outmatched.
"Surprised to see the forgotten knights? Most of them joined the Death Corps after disbanding, but some remained secret. It's a shame Delita dismissed their offer of service, because they make such a fine line of warriors." Indeed, there once were rumors back in the great 50 year war that Touten Knights excelled in combat compared to that of Hokuten and Nanten, led by their infamous leader the Dark Knight it was no surprise to see them slaughter through Konoe Knights with bloodlust. Touten knights started to advance slowly towards Egre knowing that any sudden movement will reward them with a Holy spell stronger than any average priest. But one in particular, the monk, charged with menacing speed towards Egre, his fists raised and only 3 feet away from Egre. Caught off guard he hastily tried to brew up a powerful spell but he knew to be too late, thus braced himself for the cruel pain. Fortunate enough for him, an arrow shot into the monk's neck, an instant death blow, causing the monk to drop his sword, lose balance and fall into Egre's chest with a faint embrace before sliding to the ground. Through the shadows of the cold winter night Egre's long awaited reinforcements arrived led by Leonard in the front. 'An ambush, excellent.' Two knights accompanying Leonard appeared on the rear while a knight and an archer emerged behind Egre and the priest. The archer reloaded his crossbow.
Tables had turned with Leonard's arrival, what seemed like an easy victory slipped away from Ertai's grasp. 'No matter...' he thought, gazing at the black orb clutched tightly in his left hand pocket. 'I could destroy them all with one spell!'
NO! cried an echo. From the depths of his mind spoke a familiar voice of a seductive witch and continued speaking yet again. REMEMBER, YOUR MISSION DARK MAGE... Ertai began to protest through his mind. "It won't affect our plans, I'll let these fools have it!" REMEMBER...REMEmber...remember... the resonating voice silenced into his mind, leaving the Dark Mage in the reality of battle.
"Tsk, fine I'll return with the stone. For now." he bitterly glanced at the orb before shifting his glance to his brother. He then returned the stone into his left pocket and faced his brother. "It's a pity brother, I had looked forward to right your wrong." Over the heated battle between the Touten and Konoe knights, swords clashed singing the music of a sharp flowing piece of clanging metals and for the weak hearted the music silenced away leaving death to decay. Egre stood on a higher platform, his eyes closed and breathing still as he silently chanted what seemed like another Holy spell to Ertai's experienced eyes.
A menacing laugh escaped his mouth. "Hahaha! Save some for later. I must retreat...for today." His dark form vanished just as he had done once before in their last encounter, and this time along with him, the sacred stone.
"NO!" he cried. But too late, his brother was gone without a trace yet again. The force of failure almost crushed him yet this was no time for such grief. Battle ensued even with the absence of the Dark Mage. Leonard dashed towards the safety of his charge. "Life is short...Bury! Statis Sword!" With a bright gleam leaving his sword, a shower of sharp shards of ice rained down on the two squires closing in on the Rune Priest. A fatal blow to the unlucky squire while the other suffered severe frozen cut wounds and rapid blood loss from the Holy Knight's wrath. "Egre! You wanna get yourself killed?!" Leonard harshly yelled at his charge, not bothering with the usual formality in order to shake him out of his sudden shock. He was right he thought. It won't be too late for him to retrieve the stone. He suppresed his thoughts and decided it'd be better to think later.
After all, he could attempt his search after the battle though his brother will not be foolish enough to stay for long to let him catch him. By day he would most certainly be out of the estate. During the brief moments, the once quiet monastery had become an all out battlefield, painting the sacred grounds with blood. A red moon would be expected tomorrow on such accounts. With the absence of Ertai, the enemies had lost a powerful ally and both Egre and Leonard were fully aware of this fact, thus by commanding his two knights, Leonard blindly rushed into the enemy lines, putting the fear of God's anger into the hearts of his adversaries with the help of his blessed sword held loftily in his hand. Egre on the other side studied the battlefield more closely before commanding his contingent of knights into battle. 3 ninjas clashed their blades with Leonard and his knights while a summoner and the black mage stayed behind the no man's land brewing up a spell. The young summoner in particular caught his attention. He was young, probably a new member of the disbanded knights. He was drawing the power of a guardian yet to be summoned on the field. A little more than a boy yet a little less than a man, unsure and hesitant, but eager to prove himself. Young and untried he might be, but he was fully capable of weaving enough magic to ice Leonard and his knights fighting off the ninjas. The boy summoner hurriedly fashioned his spell even as Egre observed. Egre silently prayed before weaving his own spell. "God, forgive your sinful children." he then employed the holy powers at his will. Gathering and morphing or rather shaping the raw holy energy into a form of existence.
"Guardian of Light, hear my calls, smite my enemies in holy flames, Trinity Ray!" sparing no time, Egre released his powers onto the boy summoner who almost finished his chantings. The field thundered with ice and snow but only for a brief seconds before the field was momentarily engulfed in bright atmosphere, a beam of holy ray shined down from the bright sky, connecting with the very grounds the boy summoner stood. Blast after blast the white light bashed the summoner through until the holy powers had used up. He lay sprawled on the ground. A black mage finished what the summoner failed to achieve. "Fire 2!" flames arose from the grounds, its blazing blade burning into the bruised skin of the Konoe Knights. A successful use of magic, manipulating a moderate level spell cast on three enemies at once took some skills and Egre doubted that he'd seen the best potentials of the enemy mage. If his prediction were correct, he should be conserving his mp for a greater spell, a Fire 3 perhaps or even Fire 4 if he indeed was a formidable black mage.
With their Dark Mage gone, the lancer who had stood with his brother took the commands and regained order in the frontlines, shouting commands at the ninjas holding off the knights with utmost ferocity they could muster with their blades. Clash of steel rung the silent still air in this midnight with iron songs of battle heard by veterans throughout wars and much bloodshed.
"Life is short...Bury! Stasis Sword!" Sharp cruel ice shards rained on the ninjas who faced Leonard and his knights. What fueled them he wondered as he witnessed the chunks of ice befell his enemies. Could it be their handsome reward? No, these ninjas fought for no rewards but gradually earned money in order to fight and kill. Veteran ninjas of the 50 year war and perhaps they may even have known Gafgarion from past as their commanding knight from looking at their recklessness. Warriors without fear and no remorse to kill, Konoe Knights were known to be brave but valued their lives more than the Toutens who lost the war and had been dismissed to either die off from hunger or resort to petty crimes from day to day in order to fill their empty bellies with ill made nourishments. The better of them turned themselves in the mercenary services like one Gafgarion later became famous for. Two had fallen under the sharp pain enthrusted deep into their body and soul by Leonard's holy assault and with the fast movement of swords, his two knights disarmed the ninja, breaking his spell edge with one long arc of their great sword.
The mage fell to his knees limply, trying to get hold of the ground but standing no less than a second before his legs gave in, revealing too weak to further battle. A bolt of arrow discouraged him to lift his right hand to cast anymore spell, the black mage clutched the arrow protruding out of his right arm like as if now it was a part of his body. Egre could have sworn there was a enemy missing in the battle lines and realized too late when he found his novice priest impaled to the ground by the deadly spear falling on it's intended victim with utmost accuracy. The leading lancer proved himself to be a true veteran if others were but new recruits. Before he dispatched for Egre, he caught a glimpse of his old weary face which perfectly revealed his true age of nearing early 50. But his eyes showed a different man to that of the face that revealed nothing but an aged soldier to the naked eye. Strong flare sparked in the old ancient eyes of the veteran soldier and the glare he gave him was rarely found in the young soldiers Egre had known. The archer next to him crossed his path but his spear ran him through without much effort, lifting the tip as it plunged deep in the archer's belly, Egre's last defence died away as he slid across the spear until the old soldier was within breathing range of the archer. Prepared to make his last stand for the king if required to, the grip on his staff tightened, prepared for whatever it will cost him to stop the lancer before he took his life also. Though never trained fully in the melee combat, Egre knew better than most priests how to handle a staff and his skills compared to any other old priests from the past Lion Wars. Grappling the spearhead with the curved end of his staff, he was successful in disarming the lancer, or so he thought as he clearly saw spear flying off from the gauntlet hands and landing two meters away from the old warrior. If veterans have been famed for their experiences in battle, this one was no stranger to the claims as he drew a sword hidden before by the hems of his draping cloak, he stood over Egre and pushed the blade right into Egre's heart. Luckily enough, the Rune Priest pivoted aside to evade the potential deathblow, but nevertheless sharp blade entered his authorial white robe as if his skin welcomed the plunging pain, it shoved deep into his left arm as if entering still water.
Light silent steps of a woman was heard not long before Egre's fall. "Heaven's wishes to destroy all minds...Holy Explosion!" Cried Agrias, running her blade into full motion as she swung it with god's might supporting her strength. Leaving her sword, the holy energy ran in a single line, burning anything standing on it's route with holy inferno from the skies. The old soldier braced for pain, his cloak burned and his metal armor intensified the heating stabs he received as the inferno faded into his surrounding. Coughing up ale full of blood, he collapsed with a strange smile as if he found peace at last with his honorable, warrior's death. Thud came the noise when Agrias looked to her charge whose blood now soaked into his white attire as if eating away into the fabric like plague let loose on Ivalice. Egre feinted, his last visions remaining fixed on Agrias and Leonard...
-Infirmary- The smell reminded Agrias of the dreaded memories of her father's death in the line of their duty. He was carried off to someplace much similar to this infirmary except there were full of priests and maidens rushing from one patient to next only to find the other one dying while tending another. This smell of chemicals used by chemists and sometimes priests had a nauseating effect on her as it reminded her of her father lying on one of the sickbed, with blood and so much of it dried on his armor and tunic. He watched her as he breathed his last only to leave Agrias with a cold hand for her to cling to as he passed away. How long has it been since that nightmare...? She asked. There hadn't been very many if not almost none at all who knew much about her life as a girl growing up. Separated from her parents from her birth and to live in poverty, under the same roof, with a woman and man who thought of raising her to be a whore or perhaps marry her off to a rich man regardless of his age nor his temper but his lust. She remembered the town very vividly too. Never had there been such terrible frosts as they did at her childhood nightmares while in impoverished shanty- towns on the city's outskirts the blue, frozen bodies of small children were discovered every morning of the cruel winters. She guessed she should be thankful that her foster parents thought hard about keeping her alive till she could pay them back in cash by whatever means when would reach adulthood. Winter's cruel temperature was one danger, but there had been sickness covering almost everywhere during winters. In the streets, men were left gazing like madmen to be eaten alive by their own fever, filling sores, shitting blood, hallucinating scenes of fire and drowning, falling to the grounds with bones like wool, legs like rags, and a taste of bile in their mouths. Their bodies became raw meat, with a red pustule next to a blue one next to a yellow one next to a black one, as they vomited up their own intestines and cried out to St.Ajora for mercy, begging him to let them die for they could not go on, their heads bustling and their souls escaping in a blur of shit and fear...
"Captain!" cried Lavian and Alicia, waking Agrias from momentary trance of her past nightmares. "We don't have any further leads on the Dark Mage's whereabouts and the Touten pikes won't answer our questions." Lavian didn't bother trying to sound more professional than how she normally had been expected to address her captain. After all, they been through many hardship together with the company of Ramza and his friends, it was more natural for her subordinates to share friendly relationship with her rather than that of a professional relationship. Alicia showed concern to their mute captain but as soon as Agrias noticed, she erased any trace of her past trance and pulled an impassive face and talked in her usual stoic tone. "How does are defence and what of the injured men?"
"Most of them are being attended by the church clerics lead by padre Gabrio captain, and we've began burying our losses in the church graveyard after the ceremony." A single tear escaped Alicia's eyes without warning her and she quickly wiped her tears away but too late, Agrias noticed her subordinate's tears and later noticed the cause of it after reading the record of their dead.
Greix Platina – Dead Cause- ... Living relations- none
Rad Gaol – Dead. Cause- Decapitation from left shoulder blades to upper left waist, loss of blood Living relations- Fiancée (Alicia Fidelis)
Farul Jernome – Dead...
Rad.. How long has he been acquainted with her lower knight? She asked herself while combing her now slightly flaxen hair in her comfy quarters. It's been almost 2 years since they first met under the stormy weather, under the roof of Orbonne Monastery. Clashing arguments fired out and had been present as Agrias remembered it all, between herself and a very arrogant ex-commander of Touten knights who by then had became the most feared and efficient mercenary, Gaff Gafgarion the Dark Knight. It must have been the very first the two must have met as it was for Agrias who unwillingly met Gafgarion who she had to put up working with back then for the first time. Rad was too soft hearted to be a mercenary back then and even now before his death, Agrias would've doubted he'd have enjoyed his lifestyle as a mercenary. Had he and he wouldn't have lasted long in Gafgarion's enterprise judging by the level of reckless battle Gafgarion enjoyed as much as his heavy payment in return for it. He, along with Ramza decided to join them in the critical moment and this proved her Rad was never the type to go astray. But engaged to Alicia? She always knew the two had been close friends since but to such extent, she would never have guessed. But as more she thought about it, more loopholes became clearer to her with the new found knowledge of their affairs. Their coincidental absence at Ovelia's bedside giving birth to her firstborn, prince Eurious did somehow gave Agrias certain hints but only today she found out their love affair. Love... She knew not capable of such emotion before and she had great doubts about her chances now that she started to mature into almost 34 in 2~3 years time, an age when they'd consider a woman un-marriageable and no longer fit to produce amazing fertility as young women of 20 years are capable of. Was she still considered beautiful? If her memories didn't fail her yet, she remembered many suitors with different gifts in their hands visiting her manor when she became a presentable young lady, age of 16. Back then, she would never have had dreamt of following her bloodline to fulfill the long line of services to the crown as a Holy Knight. Completing the 300 year long line of bloodline, the Oaks have had at least one from each generation become a Holy Knight and Agrias was no exception in that long tradition. However, there no longer any known relatives of the Oaks family and being the only child, her mother had been very intent to introduce a husband for her. With her father now gone, her mother the baroness Oaks was even more determined for her daughter to carry on the tradition and bring her a grandchild before she departed this world. Nearing 34, her hopes of settling down with a man seemed much far away than reaching stars on one clear evening Agrias thought and felt sorry for her legitimate mother.
Vile's FFT fic The King's Man
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