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    Game Script by randomweirdo

    Version: 0.51 | Updated: 05/24/10 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    Suikoden III Game Script - Version 0.5
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    By - randomweirdo
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    Table of Contents
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    1. General information, how to read, version history [Geninf]
    2. Hugo Prologue and Chapter 1 [ChHugo1]
    3. Chris Prologue and Chapter 1 [ChChris1]
    4. Geddoe Prologue and Chapter 1 [ChGeddoe1]
    5. Thomas Chapter 1 [ChThomas1]
    6. Chris Chapter 2 [ChChris2]
    7. Hugo Chapter 2 [ChHugo2]
    8. Geddoe Chapter 2 [ChGeddoe2]
    9. Hugo Chapter 3 [ChHugo3]
    10. Thomas Chapter 2 [ChThomas2]
    11. Geddoe Chapter 3 [ChGeddoe3]
    12. Chris Chapter 3 [ChChris3]
    13. Chapter 4 (Hugo as Flame Champion) [ChHugo4]
    14. Chapter 5 (Hugo as Flame Champion) [ChHugo5]
    15. Luc Chapter 1 [ChLuc1]
    16. Recruitment scenes [RecruSce]
    17. Legal stuffs, how to contact [ContLegal]
    
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    Information, How to Read [Geninf]
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    While this should be pretty self explanatory on how to read it, there are a
    few things that do need to be noted.
    
    Since the Flame Champion does not have a name defined by the game canon, for
    the sake of this script I used [Flame Champion] to refer to him.  The brackets
    will be included when it should say whatever name you gave your Flame Champion.
    Without brackets it is referring to the title.
    
    And since you can name your castle, for the sake of the script I kept it as
    Budehuc the whole time even when it's name changes.  If you see any instances
    where it is called Dragon Castle, please let me know so I can fix them!  That's
    what I called it in my playthrough and it isn't impossible that I messed it up.
    
    Also, for things like the Man In Black, etc, I use the names the game gives
    them until the game actually reveals them.
    
    Since the chapters can be played in about any order I took the recommended
    order from dan crenshaw's guide for similar reasons as he did, it is a very
    sensible order to play in and if someone were to read from top to bottom
    without having played the game it would give the least chance of accidental
    spoilers.  There is a code included at the end of each title that will lead to
    the beginning of each chapter to help prevent spoilers.  Prologues will go
    before the first chapter for that character, the search keys will lead to the
    prologue, but since they are short it isn't much scrolling if you wanted
    chapter 1.
    
    But having said that, since this is a game script, there will be plot spoilers
    here.  This is the exact game text transcribed for informational purposes.
    Nothing was changed except maybe minor fixes if the game had an actual error to
    it.  This guide is meant for informational purposes, not as a replacement for
    the game or an excuse to play a Japanese release instead of the English
    release, etc.  I made this mostly because I enjoy roleplaying the characters in
    this game and thought it would be a helpful resource for myself and opted to
    share it to help others also.
    
    Things like [outside], [the next day] etc. are more to depict a change of
    scene.  Description is kept to a minimum because it is not meant to be a
    replacement.  Luc's chapter is a bit messy about that because it was actually
    the first one I did when I was doing this more for my own reference.  That will
    get fixed in a later version once I can actually beat the final boss again.
    But overall anything in []s is not actual dialogue.  There are a few times
    where something is given in <> and that is actual dialogue.
    
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    Version History
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    0.5 - First version submitted to GameFAQs, only versions earlier than this were
    in .doc format, not numbered and given to certain parties.  Has a complete
    playthrough with Hugo as the Flame Champion, missing many optional scenes.
    Earliest version with decent formatting.
    
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    Hugo - Prologue [ChHugo1]
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    Villager: Hugo, I see we're both out early today.  Why's your horse so tired?
    Have you been out hassling the sleeping earth spirits again?
    Hugo: You know a better way to get their attention?  With their help, I'll be
    the best rider in the village.
    Villager: Like you need their help!  Ha!  You're already the best rider I know.
    Sgt. Joe: Spirits?  Get real!  My Duck Clan doesn't believe in that nonsense!
    Hugo: Open your mind, Sergeant.  There's gotta be a lot more to the plains than
    meets the eye, if not spirits, then other hidden wonders...
    Sgt. Joe: If you waste your time wondering, you won't be alert and ready for
    the important things in life, like being a good soldier!
    Hugo: As long as you and Fubar are with me, I fear no one!
    Sgt. Joe: That's the spirit!  Fear is our worst enemy.  Right, Fubar?
    Fubar: Kuuuuueeeeeeeeee!
    Sgt. Joe: Hey, hey, HEY!  Buckle your beak, you insubordinate griffon!
    Hugo: Heh heh.  Cut it out, you two.  I'm starving.  Let's go get some food.
    Sgt. Joe: Splendid!  Karayan meals are always a pleasure.  Especially in the
    home of the Karaya Clan Chief.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Hugo: You know where to get yours, Fubar.  Go ahead.
    Fubar: Kuuueeeee!
    
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    Hugo - Chapter 1
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    Lulu: Back at last!  That sure was a long ride.
    Hugo: Well, well.  Look who's here.  So, you're dining with us, eh, Lulu?
    Sgt. Joe: Where is everybody?  Isn't there a host to show us to the table?
    Lulu: Huh?
    Hugo: Never-ending appetite, eh, Sergeant?
    Lucia: A bit like your never-ending appetite for morning rides, son?  Lulu,
    Sergeant, there's plenty of food.  Help yourselves.
    Sgt. Joe: I'll save my thanks for later-after I've had my fill!  Yum!
    Lulu: Hey!  I was here first!
    Hugo: Hold on!  Wait for me!
    Lucia: Hugo, come see me when you're done.
    Hugo: Why?  What's wrong?
    Lucia: Why don't you eat first?
    Hugo: Uh, OK.  Whatever you say.
    
    [they all eat]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Ahhh.  Now that's what I call full!  If I ate any more, I'd explode.
    Hugo: Somehow I think you'd still find a way to fit more in.
    Lulu: Hehehe.
    Sgt. Joe: I noticed Lucia wanted a word with you.  Is something bothering her?
    Hugo: I don't know.  I haven't talked to her yet.  I should do that now, I
    guess.
    Sgt. Joe: She'll probably give you guff for spending so much time away from
    home.
    Hugo: What are you trying to say?
    Sgt. Joe: Quack, quack, quack.  Don't worry, nobody's calling you a mama's boy.
    Just go talk to her already.
    Lulu: While we were eating, I saw Lucia heading toward my house.
    
    [Head to Lulu's house and meet up with Jimba]
    
    Hugo: Still working on that armor, Jimba?
    Jimba: Greetings, Hugo!  I have to say, this armor's been through quite a lot.
    Harsh elements and all.  It needs proper care.
    Hugo: You've never mentioned how you got this Zexen armor in the first place.
    Jimba: I acquired it from... a past acquaintance.
    Lulu:  Give it up, Hugo.  He won't even tell me, his own brother!  All he ever
    says is that it's from a soldier he knew long ago.
    Jimba: I speak the truth, Lulu.  And when you're old enough to understand
    everything, I'll explain more of the story.
    Lulu: Oh, fox dung!  Just when am I supposed to be old enough to understand?
    Sgt. Joe: When you realize how not grown-up you are now.  Quack!
    Lulu: Nobody asked you!
    Hugo: Ok, you don't have to tell us.  But it you're trying to protect it from
    the elements, why do you keep it outdoors?
    Jimba: Our mother can't stand the smell of iron.  It reminds her of a cruel
    past.
    Hugo: Makes sense, I guess.
    Lulu: Hugo, don't look that way.  Everyone knows what great warriors my other
    older brothers were.  My brother Jimba is no less worthy.
    Luce: What's going on out here?  Hugo, I might have known.  Scrawny as ever, I
    see.
    Jimba: Hah!  You say that every time you see him.  Obviously he has more
    important matters to think about than food.
    Lucia: Well, Hugo.  Are you ready for our talk now?
    Hugo: Sure, mother.  What's this all about?
    Lucia: I know you're aware of the truce negotiations with Zexen.  The next step
    is for you to deliver an official message to Vinay del Zexay.  The trip may
    take about a week.
    Hugo: The Zexen capital?
    Lucia: Yes.  You must deliver the message directly to the head of the Zexen
    Council.
    Jimba: The Zexen capital is nothing like Grassland.  The streets and the walls
    are all made of stone.  When your duties are complete, see what you can of the
    city before returning.
    Hugo: Official message?
    Lucia: It is for the early negotiations toward a peace agreement.  The Zexen
    Council has been informed a messenger will come.
    Hugo: You want ME to go?
    Jimba: You are the son of a Grassland Clan Chief.  If not you, then who?
    Lucia: Zexen must see Grassland as a political equal, so sending a clan chief
    is unacceptable.  By birth you are the best choice for a trusted official
    messenger.  Can I count on you?
    Hugo: I'm up to it.
    Luce: Hah!  That's not surprising.  He's just like his mother.  Brave as a
    jaguar!
    Lucia: Good.  I'm proud of you.  Have a safe and successful journey.
    Sgt. Joe: Let's not forget that I, the bravest of the Duck Clan, will accompany
    you.
    Lulu: I wanna go too!  Can I please, mother?
    Luce: Spirits, no!  Hugo is going as a respected representative of Karaya.  How
    do YOU fit in?
    Lulu: Just FINE, thank you!  Even when Hugo's busy, I'll still have Fubar and
    Sgt. Joe around to keep me safe.
    Luce: They're not playing around, my child.  This is a serious journey.  Only
    if you promise to stay out of trouble...
    Lulu: Yes, oh yes!  Is it okay with you, Hugo?  Can I go?  Can I?
    Hugo: Why no?  I'll keep you safe, Lulu.  I'll keep us both from harm.
    Lulu: I promise you won't regret this, Hugo.  I promise, I promise!
    Sgt. Joe: Indeed, let us pray for no regrets.
    Luce: I guess you've made up your minds, then.  I hate to see you go, Lulu.
    But I can't stop you.
    Lucia: Hugo, you should start getting ready.  You leave first thing tomorrow
    morning.
    Jimba: One other thing.  Hugo, Lulu-learn well what a Zexen looks like.  Not
    every helmet seen from afar is being worn on a Zexen head.
    Lulu: Got it.
    Lucia: Sergeant, thank you in advance for all your assistance.
    Sgt. Joe: Uh, no problem.  Any time.
    
    [Get letter to Zexen]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Got a problem?  Don't you think you'd better start preparing for the
    trip now?
    Hugo: I suppose so.
    Lulu: I can't wait to get started.  See you tomorrow, fellow travelers!
    Sgt. Joe: Don't oversleep or we'll leave without you!  Must make sure I pack
    everything.  What do you think, Hugo?  Are 10 different outfits enough?
    
    [The next day]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hey, what's everyone doing here?  We'll return in short course.
    Lucia: We'll certainly pray for your quick return, and protection along the
    way.
    Luce: Lulu!  Aren't you ready yet!
    Lulu: Hold on!  I think I over-packed.
    Luce: Better safe than sorry.  Did you pack medicine too?
    Lulu: Yes, yes!  You keep acting like we're going to get hurt or something.
    Luce: Hmph!  Well, how do we know what a Zexen will do?  They may look
    friendlier than they are.  Who knows?
    Lulu: Yes, yes.  I'll watch out.  No wandering on my own.  No strange food or
    drink.  Anything else?
    Luce: Don't even ask!
    Lucia: Hugo, your experience of the world beyond Grassland is not as important
    to me as your safe return.  May my Hugo walk with the divine protection of the
    earth and wind spirits.
    Hugo: Well then, I'm off.
    Lucia: I know, somehow, you'll be fine.
    Lulu: Hehehe, "divine protection"!  I hope there's enough to go around.  Haha!
    Luce: The same goes for you too!
    Lulu: ARRRRRRRRHHHHHH...
    Luce: May my Lulu walk with the divine protection of the earth and wind
    spirits.
    Lulu: Starting...right...now...
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    
    [The group heads out and meets up with Jimba on the way out]
    
    Jimba: Hugo, I have a favor to ask of you.
    Hugo: Sure.  What is it?
    Jimba: Take this.  Take this to the Lightfellow family in Vinay del Zexay.
    Hugo: What is this?
    Jimba: All I can say is that it once belonged to a brave Zexen soldier who died
    long ago.  When you give it to his family, tell them that he died heroically.
    Hugo: The soul of a warrior... I'll take good care of it.
    Jimba: I trust you will do so.
    Hugo: Consider it delivered.
    
    [You get pentacle]
    
    Jimba: When this is delivered, my biggest burden will be lifted.  Hurry.  May
    the divine ones protect you.
    Hugo: Thank you.  Farewell for now.
    Jimba: And Lulu-do nothing that would sadden your mother.
    Lulu: I'll be fine, you'll see.  So long, brother.
    
    [At Brass Castle]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Look at this.  Amazing!  A mountain of stones.
    Lulu: It's more like a giant fort or something.  Is this where the ironheads
    hide out?
    Hugo: Must be.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Sgt. Joe: All right.  Enough of this gawking.  We're not in Grassland anymore.
    Let's go!
    
    [Further in]
    
    Guard: You there!  Assume proper formation and stay out from underfoot!
    Sgt. Joe: What is going on around here?
    Lulu: Hey, watch it!
    Guard: I said stand clear!
    Salome: Let me remind you that we cannot rest for long.  We must leave for the
    treaty negotiation as soon as we hear from the Grassland messenger.
    Chris: You mean to say we won't be able to wait for the rest of the Six
    Knights?
    Salome: No, I'm afraid not.  Surely you understand the urgency.
    Lulu: What are we lining up for?  Ironhead knights!
    
    [Louis bumps into Lulu]
    
    Lulu: OOUUHH!
    Louis: Oops, pardon me.
    Chris: Are you alright, lad?  Please forgive my companion for getting in your
    way.
    Lulu: Yeah, well, what do you expect from an ironhead?
    Louis: What do you mean, "ironhead"?
    Chris: Those clothes.  You are... Karayan.
    Hugo: And who might YOU be?
    Chris: Of course.  I should have introduced myself first.  I am Chris
    Lightfellow, the acting Captain of the Zexen Knights.
    Hugo: Lightfellow?  That name sure sounds familiar.
    Roland: Captain, time is fleeting.  We must be on our way.
    Hugo: Wait, I must speak with you!
    Roland: Get back, young barbarian.  Here, WE decide who lives, who dies AND who
    speaks!
    Hugo: Are you threatening me?
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo-don't.
    Hugo: Damn!
    Roland: Time is of the essence now!
    Chris: Very well.  Our apologies once again, child.  Goodbye.
    Roland: Be careful what you do here.  This is Zexen land.
    Louis: Goodbye.  I do apologize.
    Lulu: Everything I've heard about ironheads is true!
    Sgt. Joe: But it IS odd to see a woman wearing armor.  Strange indeed!
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Sgt. Joe: Not here, Fubar!
    
    [In Zexen forest]
    
    Sgt. Joe: We need to proceed in a westerly direction; therefore, this must be
    the way.
    Lulu: I thought you said you knew the way.
    Sgt. Joe: I most certainly do, and I'm telling you this is it.  Even my tail
    feathers concur.
    Hugo: Well, if we can't prove it's wrong, we'll assume it's right.  Let's keep
    going.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    
    [Once the group arrives to Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Sgt. Joe: There it is!  It lies here, just as I said.  And you doubted my
    directions!  It seems I've earned my wings.
    Lulu: Sergeant, are you sure it wasn't luck?
    Sgt. Joe: Of course not.  Though truth be told, this is my first time here...
    Now then.  Fubar, you're to wait outside the city.  Hide yourself in the woods.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Hugo: Is that necessary?
    Sgt. Joe: In case you didn't notice, we get a lot of weird looks when Fubar's
    around.  We're in a strange land, you know.
    Hugo: What?  Oh, um.  You see, I... I thought they were looking at you.
    Sgt. Joe: Don't be absurd.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Hugo: You'll have to wait outside, Fubar.  You can hunt, but don't disturb
    anything belonging to the Zexens.  And don't get hunted yourself.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Lulu: See you later, pal.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    
    [Fubar leaves, the rest go inside the city]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Behold, the Zexen capitol!  I shall cherish this first vision
    forever!
    Lulu: It's really bigger than I thought it'd be.
    Hugo: This place makes me feel-hmm, not good.  That's for sure.
    Sgt. Joe: I know the feeling.  Grasslanders are more at home without walls.
    Open plains and meadow breezes are for us.  I'd like to go back as soon as
    possible.
    
    [Arrive at the Lightfellow manor]
    
    Hugo: Let's hope there's no wait to see a Lightfellow.
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Butler: So that is why you have come.  I see.
    Hugo: Yes.  This is for them.
    Butler: Very good, Sir.  This does indeed belong to the Lightfellow family.
    Where did you obtain it?
    Hugo: Jimba has kept it for years.  He's the son of Luce of the Karaya Clan.
    Butler: From Sir Jimba, you say.
    Hugo: Is there something wrong?
    Butler: Er, no, of course not.  We cannot thank you enough for bringing this
    here.  I will see to it personally that Lady Chris receives this.
    
    [Pentacle is given to butler]
    
    Hugo: Please do.  Farewell, then.
    Butler: Sir, before you leave, may we not reward you for your service?
    Hugo: Reward?  Ah.  No need.  It was a favor for Jimba.  I almost forgot!
    Butler: Yes?
    Hugo: Jimba also wanted you to know that the Zexen soldier who had this died
    heroically.
    Butler: I... see.  That is... something I will communicate to Lady Chris.
    Hugo: Thank you.  Farewell, then.
    Butler: Yes, thank you so much.  Our thanks to Sir Jimba as well.
    
    [Hugo leaves]
    
    Hugo: Well, that takes care of one of my duties.
    
    [Head to the center of town to meet with council]
    
    Sgt. Joe: This place fit the description we were given.
    Hugo: Let's ask someone.
    Lulu: How about that ironhead by the door?
    
    [They walk up to the knight[
    
    Hugo: Excuse me, sir.  I'm here to meet with the Zexen Council Head.
    Marshal ............
    Hugo: Don't you understand me?
    Lulu: Everyone else here speaks our language.
    Marshal: .........
    Hugo: Answer me already!
    Marshal: .........
    Lulu: Who needs this guy?  Let's go in and see for ourselves.
    
    [They try to go in, the knight blocks their path]
    
    Lulu: Hey!
    Marshal: .........
    Sgt. Joe: There may be a more diplomatic way to get the results we seek.
    
    [Sgt. Joe walks up to the knight]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Ahem.  This young man comes as an official messenger sent from
    Grassland by Lucia, the Karaya Clan Chief, to deliver an official message to
    the Zexen Council.  We therefore request access.
    Marshal: What proof do you have that he is the official messenger?
    Sgt. Joe: You ask for proof!  This is Hugo, the very son of the Karaya Chief.
    He is the proof!
    Lulu: And I am the son of Luce.  My legs are as quick as Hugo's!
    Marshal: Very well then.  You may enter.
    Lulu: Sergeant, you did it!  Did you see the look on his face?  Teach us the
    spell you cast!
    Sgt. Joe: He's not much more stubborn than the Lizard Clan.  A little patience
    and respect go a long way.
    Hugo: Whatever you say.
    Sgt. Joe: Now let's do what we came here to do.
    
    [They finally get let in]
    
    Lulu: This is ridiculous!  After coming all this way, they won't even see us
    for 2 to 3 days?
    Hugo: But mother said they'd be expecting a messenger...
    Sgt. Joe: Not everything goes as planned when it comes to politics.
    Hugo: What do you mean?
    Sgt. Joe: A discussion is apparently not a valuable enough item to "pay" for
    their time.  They're showing us how priceless their time is to them.
    Hugo: We have to wait around for some protocol?  The longer I stay here the
    less I like it.
    Sgt. Joe: Makes my feathers stiff!
    Lulu: Well... if that's how it has to be, why can't we use this time to check
    out
    what we've never seen before?
    Sgt. Joe: We'll need to find a place to stay.  Fortunately, we have the funds
    for it.
    Hugo: I hope Fubar will be all right.
    
    [Head to the inn, spend the night, try again]
    
    Marshal: Entrance is granted to those with prior invitations only.
    Hugo: Geesh.  Another waste of a walk around this stoney place!
    Sgt. Joe: We have to stay another night.
    Lulu: I want to look around more!
    
    [Head to the inn, spend the night, try again]
    
    Marshal: No prior invitation, no entry.  Be gone!
    Hugo: Sergeant, do we really have to meet with such people?
    Sgt. Joe: For now, we should go back to our lodging.
    
    [Head to the inn, spend the night, try again]
    
    Lulu: I guess we shouldn't complain.  The food could be a lot worse.  But a lot
    better too, with more scrumptious Karayan spices.
    Sgt. Joe: I suppose the best we can do now is head back to the Council
    building.  Lulu, be brave, even though I know you miss your mother.
    Lulu: Who asked you?
    Hugo: Don't get feisty, young man!  I hope I needn't worry about Fubar's
    behavior like I do yours.
    
    [Head back to the council building]
    
    Lulu: I can't believe how big this place is.  I wonder how many councils it
    holds.
    Sgt. Joe: You think THIS is big?  The Lizard Clan cave is large enough to hold
    ten of these.
    Marshal: I've been informed that you are indeed expected here.
    Hugo: It's about time.
    Marshal: They await you within.  You may enter.
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Lulu: Oh great!  Now we get to wait INSIDE instead.  Big deal!
    Sgt. Joe: I tried to warn you.  Official do a lot of things to make themselves
    seem more important.  Quite annoying!
    Official: So sorry to have kept you waiting.  I represent the Zexen Council.
    I'll be responsible for delivering your message.
    Sgt. Joe: "Representative"?
    Official: Yes, a "representative."
    Hugo: I am the son of the Karaya Clan Chief.  I must deliver an official
    message to the Zexen Council Head-no one else.
    Official: Perhaps it is difficult for you to appreciate the time constraints on
    the Council.  We deal with many people from outside our vast realm.  We have
    little patience for that which disrupts normalcy.
    Sgt. Joe: How dare you show us such disrespect!  It was Grassland's protection
    that allowed Zexen to peddle its goods as far away as Jowston!
    Official: Need I remind you that we shared our profits with Grassland?  Perhaps
    you desired more.
    Sgt. Joe: Impudence!
    Official: Now then, if you will please give the message to me.
    Hugo: Lucia the Clan Chief didn't send me all the way here for such treatment.
    I must deliver this directly to the Council Head.
    Official: Unfortunately, as I've tried to explain, the council is too busy now.
    It's the best I can do.
    Hugo: But...
    Official: I beg your pardon, but I can't waste any more time.  Such serious
    matters should be left to someone other than a child.
    Hugo: I happen to be a Karayan Fighter.
    Official: Fighter or not, in Zexen, a person's age determines what he's called,
    and here you're a child.  Now if you'll excuse me...
    Hugo: Ggrrr!
    
    [handed over the letter, head outside]
    
    Lulu: If only Jimba were here to see these ironheads!
    Sgt. Joe: We did our best delivering the message.  It's important to explain
    what happened to Lucia.  I'm ready to go back right now.
    Lulu: Agreed!  I've seen enough Zexen rudeness to last me forever.
    Hugo: .........
    
    [Try to leave]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, the best we can do now is return to the inn and get ready to
    head back to Grassland.
    
    [Head back to the inn]
    
    Sgt. Joe: "Ironhead" seems to grand a term for some of the Zexens we've met.
    Lulu: Yeah!  Who do they think they are, making us wait all that time and still
    treating us like intruders?
    Hugo: I expected much different treatment, for sure, but there are still some
    decent Zexens out there.
    Sgt. Joe: I guess.  The people we met on the streets seemed nicer.  Except for
    all that staring.
    Lulu: Now we can go back!  I can't wait to get back!
    Hugo: Soon, Lulu.  There's got to be something fun to do while we're here.  Too
    bad people aren't more cooperative.
    Sgt. Joe: Grassland's advantages are now clear to us.  Don't forget them.
    Lulu: I say we leave at the crack of dawn!
    Hugo: Ha ha.  [hears something] ?  That noise...
    Sgt. Joe: ?
    
    [They see a group of knights headed towards the inn]
    
    Leo: It's two children and a duck.  Be careful!  It doesn't take much to get a
    Grassie's ire up.  Two men around back-now!
    
    [Inside]
    
    Innkeeper: Wh-what's going on here?
    Percival: Forgive our intrusion, innkeeper.  We have orders to detain the three
    Grasslanders here.
    Innkeeper: I had no idea they were criminals!  It's so hard to know who to rent
    to these days.
    Leo: It's not what you think.  We just need to ask them a few questions.
    Follow me!
    
    [They go in the room, it's empty]
    
    Leo: ?!
    
    [Leo walks up to the window and sees Hugo and group running away]
    
    Leo: They're on the run!!  After them!!
    Percival: You don't have to shout, you know.  I'm not deaf!
    
    [Hugo and group are running]
    
    Lulu: Phew!
    Hugo: What's going on here?
    Sgt. Joe: No idea.  But if you ask me, ironheads in full battle gear aren't
    here to apologize.  Run!
    
    [They run and meet up with a group of knights]
    
    Zexen Knight: There they are.  You three!  Halt!
    Lulu: Argh!  Now what?
    Hugo: Somehow, I don't think they're here to chat.
    Sgt. Joe: No, probably not.
    Hugo: Lulu-on guard!
    
    [A fight ensues, actually a few before they get to the exit]
    
    Percival: Guests from Grassland, we must have a little talk.  You've proven our
    troops need more training, but we'll skip that for now and get straight to what
    you have to say.
    Hugo: You should be the ones explaining!
    Sgt. Joe: We're not going anywhere with you unless you tell us what's going on!
    Lulu: Right!
    Leo: We've gotten word that, while pretending to engage in treaty negotiations,
    Grasslanders launched a sneak attack against us.  How do we know you're not
    here to further trick us?
    Lulu: Why would we want to trick you?  We represent the most honorable Lucia,
    Chief of the Karayan Clan!
    Sgt. Joe: Nor would the Duck Clan wage war as you claim.
    Leo: Grassland forces have our knights surrounded.  You're our hostages.  If
    you are truly the Karaya Clan Chief's son, they'd dare not chance hurting you.
    You're worth more in exchange.  Now come with us.
    Hugo: No chance!  I'll show you how Karayans fight!
    Leo: We can find that our later.  First we must rescue our brethren.
    
    [Another fight ensues, after a time the fight stops]
    
    Percival: Be warned!  Resistance will result in your injury!
    Sgt. Joe: Or maybe YOURS!
    Leo: Until truce negotiations finish, please recognize-we have the upper hand.
    Hugo: We'll see about that!
    
    [Fubar appears from above]
    
    Zexen Knight: Huh?!  ARRRRRRRR!!
    Hugo: Run!
    Percival: Halt!
    Fubafr: Kuuee kuuee!
    Leo: Follow them!  Hurry!
    Zexen Knight: Yessir!
    
    [They automatically head to the Zexen forest]
    
    Lulu: Looks like we lost them.
    Sgt. Joe: But we're still on Zexen land.  Stay sharp.
    Lulu: Thanks to Fubar, we made it.
    Hugo: Yeah, thanks.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Lulu: How did you find us?  Were you looking for us?
    Sgt. Joe: I bet he was looking for food, not us.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Sgt. Joe: Quack, quack, quack!  All right already, Fubar!
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Lulu: Hehehe.
    Hugo: Let's get a move on!  What if what those knights said is true?
    Sgt. Joe: If it is, we may already be at war again.
    Lulu: So what?  I'm not afraid of any ironhead!  Hmph!
    
    [Get to Brass Castle]
    
    Sgt. Joe: We're being followed.  Looks like word hasn't reached here.
    Puzzling.  If we were at war, the fort would be fully defended.  But it's not.
    Hugo: Agreed.
    Lulu: Agreed, agreed.
    Sgt. Joe: Don't attract attention. Just act naturally and walk slowly.
    Hugo: Right.
    Lulu: Right, right.
    Hugo: ......
    Sgt. Joe: Here we go.
    
    [Fubar tries to follow]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Fubar!  You couldn't possibly walk slow enough to avoid attention.
    Fubar: Kuuuee!
    Hugo: See these walls?  Fly over them and wait for us.  We'll go back through
    the checkpoint and meet you on the other side.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Hugo: Move it!  Before an enemy sees you!
    
    [Fubar flies over the castle, everyone else heads inside and gets stuck in a
    line]
    
    Lulu: Slow... slow... not yet??
    Hugo: Lulu, quiet.
    Lulu: Ok, I know!
    
    [Last person in line before them goes]
    
    Lulu: Uh-oh.  I'm not so sure about this.
    
    [Sgt. Joe pushes Lulu]
    
    Lulu: Ouch.  Sergeant, knock it off!
    Sgt. Joe: You're being too noisy and acting totally unnatural.  We could be
    found out any minute now!
    Lulu: You always worry about-
    Hugo: Lulu!
    Lulu: Hmph.
    
    [Leo and Percival arrive]
    
    Leo: They must have slipped through.
    Percival: So it's up to the army now.  If only fate were on our side, it would
    deliver those three to us right now.
    Leo: Don't bet on it.
    
    [They keep riding and are almost past the group]
    
    Man: Hail, Sir Knights!  Please forgive my intrusion, but are you the famous
    Six Zexen Knights?  Sir Leo and Sir Percival?
    Leo: Aye, we are.  What of it?
    
    [Leo sees the group]
    
    Leo: He looks like...
    Sgt. Joe: Ruin!
    Leo: Percival, you never told me you had a sixth sense.
    Percival: Even so, you don't seem very keen on the idea.
    Leo: What's there to be happy about?!
    
    [The group runs off and is chased by Leo and Percival]
    
    Leo: Which way?
    Percival: I've never chased anyone this fast.
    Leo: ......
    
    [The group falls out of the chimney]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Kwoorrgh.
    Lulu: Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.
    Hugo: Get... Off...
    Lulu: That hurt!
    Sgt. Joe: You're not much of a cushion yourself.
    Hugo: I'll be squished like a grape if you don't...
    Lulu: Sorry, Hugo!
    Sgt. Joe: Hold on now!
    
    [They fall backwards into a tunnel]
    
    Hugo: Where are we?
    Sgt. Joe: It looks like a passageway out of the fort.  It must be very old if
    those knights didn't know about it.
    Lulu: So if we get past there, we can get away?
    Sgt. Joe: Well, it's the only unguarded route that we know about.
    
    [Get to the tunnel exit]
    
    Sgt. Joe: This looks like an exit.
    Lulu: Then we go back to Grassland?
    Hugo: It might lead back in the direction of Vinay del Zexay.
    Sgt. Joe: Good point.  It probably does.  Wouldn't that be great...
    Lulu: We're going back there?
    Sgt. Joe: It's our only chance.  Let's take it.
    Hugo: Ready.
    
    [They go outside and find themselves on the grassland side]
    
    Lulu: Phew!  Fresh air!  That tunnel reeks!
    Hugo: They overlooked it during spring cleaning.
    Sgt. Joe: So which way did we end up, toward Grassland or Zexen?
    
    [Fubar shows up]
    
    Hugo: Fubar!
    Fubar: Kuuuueeee!
    Sgt. Joe: If Fubar is here, then we're...
    Lulu: Thank the spirits!  We're on our side!  Now - back to Grassland!
    Sgt. Joe: Yes, we must return, and quickly.  Something's definitely wrong.  I
    can feel it in my feathers.
    
    [On the way back]
    
    Lulu: Look!  Is that?  It HAS to be!  Hugo!  Sergeant!
    Hugo: What in spirits?
    Sgt. Joe: Hurry and stay on guard, Hugo, Lulu!
    
    [At Karaya Village]
    
    Hugo: I know that color of smoke.  But, how?!  Our village is burning!
    Sgt. Joe: Disaster has struck!
    Lulu: Oh no!  What about our families?
    Sgt. Joe: Lulu!  Lulu!  Don't!  Wait for us!
    Hugo: Zexens!  What about my message?!
    
    [Go further down the road and meet up with Sgt. Joe]
    
    Sgt. Joe: This wound is from a sword.  The enemy could still be here!  Be ready
    for anything!
    
    [Enter the village to find Chris]
    
    Chris: This village... We'll be better off with it gone.
    Lulu: You!  It had to be you!
    
    [Hugo and the others arrive as Lulu is struck down by Chris]
    
    Hugo: Lu--!
    Sgt. Joe: Lulu!
    Hugo: Noooooo!  Lulu, no!  Why?  Why did this have to happen?!  I...  I went to
    Zexen to stop this.  Why didn't they... take my message... Why?!
    Chris: I-I didn't....
    Hugo: Why?!  I demand to know why!
    Chris: I did not know a child was attacking me.
    Hugo: The truce was a lie.  It was a lie to make this easier for you!
    Chris: No!  Not true!
    Sgt. Joe:  Hugo!
    Hugo: Sergeant, let me pass!
    Sgt. Joe: She is not alone!
    
    [The other knights arrive]
    
    Salome: Let us make haste, Captain.  Enemy reinforcements approach.
    Chris: I am sorry... ...child.
    Hugo: Wait!  You must tell me why!
    Sgt. Joe: I'm sorry, but I must watch out for you as Lucia wanted.  There's
    just you, me and Fubar.  We can't win.  Not today.  For now, think only of
    Lulu.
    
    [Later, after burying Lulu]
    
    Sgt. Joe: For this... the proper rites should be read.  The spirits will have to
    forgive us for now.
    Fubar: Kuuuuueeeee!
    Hugo: I didn't protect him.
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Hugo: My mother... his mother... I promised.  And I failed.
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Hugo: Why Lulu?  Why now?
    Fubar: .........
    Hugo: We were together just yesterday.  And I never thought... he would leave.
    Leave with the wind.  Because I...
    Sgt. Joe: Don't be so conceited.  You're still a mere apprentice.
    Hugo: ?
    Sgt. Joe: What makes you think you can protect anyone?!  You are skilled at
    hunting, but what happened here is war.  It's childish to presume such
    invincibility.
    Hugo: .........
    Sgt. Joe: Hunting is not war.  To die hunting is different than dying at war.
    If one names an enemy and attacks, as Lulu did, he must expect his own life to
    be in peril.  A warrior accepts this way of death.  When you unsheathe your
    knife for war, your life will be sought too.  To live as a warrior, you must
    agree to live by this cold truth.
    Hugo: .........
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo!  You can't stay here forever and mope.  Karayan forces won't be
    coming back.  Best to return to my village.
    Hugo: Very well.
    Sgt. Joe: I refuse to walk beside that face.  Get up and look like a warrior.
    
    End of Hugo Chapter 1
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Chris - Prologue [ChChris1]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Chris: Rubbish!  We Knights are not clowns!  They should know better.
    Salome: There, there.  Don't be upset.  A Zexen hero like yourself deserves her
    time in the spotlight.
    Chris: All that show is for the council, you realize.  It makes me
    uncomfortable.  It doesn't feel right-we have yet to formally bury our late
    Captain Galahad and Vice Captain Pelize.
    Salome: Hum.  I see your point, milady.  But we Knights thrive on people's
    faith.  This has always been the way of the knight.
    Chris: I understand, but there is more to life than being a knight....<sigh>....
    Salome: Is it so difficult for you to be a hero?
    Chris: I wasn't expecting all this.
    Salome: But it is the wish of the people, milady.
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Chris - Chapter 1
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Chris: A victory parade immediately followed by this summons.  How could the
    council be so arrogant!
    Louis: Madam, if I may take your sword....
    Chris: Knights' rights are not recognized here, I suppose.
    
    [She gives her sword to Louis]
    
    Louis: Good day, Madam.
    Chris: Thank you, Louis.
    
    [She enters the council chamber]
    
    Council Member: We are honored to have the leader of our mighty Zexen Knights
    with us.  Goddess be with us today and here at the council.
    Chris: Let me give thanks to our Goddess for allowing us this occasion to
    gather here today.
    Council Member: We welcome you, Madam.  I also had the honor of viewing the
    victory parade.
    Chris: Thank you, sir, but you needn't flatter me.  The battle with the
    Grasslands was not what you would call a victory.
    Council Member: I did not expect you to say that, madam.  For being the Silver
    Maiden, leader of the Mighty Six Knights, you show far too much modesty.
    Council Member: You are also called the White Hero.  It was your dedication and
    distinguished service that led to our victory over the Barbarian allied forces.
    I have heard it said that a single thrust of your sword can take seven enemies.
    Chris: I have not lived long enough to become a myth.  Would you enlighten me
    as to the reason for this summons?
    Council Member: Of course.  We meant no harm.
    Council Member: We have asked you to the council to advice you of our new
    resolution and to request its implementation.
    Chris: Whatever the council's decision or order, it is the duty of the Knights
    to comply.
    Council Member: Well said.  Our victory in the recent battle has shown the
    Barbarians our supremacy.
    Council Member: We would like to send you to negotiate with the Council of the
    Elders of the Six Clans.  Our intention is to have the Barbarians sign a treaty
    to settle the border violation disputes over the years.
    Chris: Have the Grasslanders been informed of this?
    Council Members: The Lizard and Chisha Clans have already sent us their
    consent.  We are expecting the Karaya Clan to join them shortly.
    Council Member: Can we depend on you, madam?
    Chris: Certainly, but our request to hold a state funeral for our late Captain
    Galahad and Vice Captain Pelize has not been granted.  We cannot return to our
    duties without paying our respects to the deceased....
    Council Member: We can't afford to lessen the effect of our victory by
    reminding people of our losses to the Barbarians.  We must wait for a better
    time.
    Council Member: Or would you rather hold the state funeral and solidify your
    title as the Captain of the Knights?
    Chris: Nonsense!  How could you?!
    Council Member: Our decision has been made.  We expect successful reports from
    you, milady.  Let us give thanks to our Goddess for allowing us this occasion
    to gather here today.
    Chris: Hmmm....  Thank you, Goddess, for allowing this gathering today.
    
    [She stands and departs]
    
    Council Member: We expect a hero to do a hero's duty.
    Council Member: A hero is eternal only if his life is lost in glorious battle.
    Don't you agree?
    
    [Outside the chamber]
    
    Chris: Louis!  Get ready to depart!
    Louis: Yes, Madam!  But this is so sudden.  You just returned from a victorious
    campaign.
    Chris: They said we belong on the battlefield.
    
    [In front of Chris' home]
    
    Salome: Very well.  Until morning, then.
    
    [The next morning]
    
    Salome: Thanks for waiting.
    Leo: You're not usually late, Salome.  What's changed?
    Borus: You have found your sweetheart, finally!
    Salome: Eh?  Pardon me?  Don't be ridiculous!  How insulting!
    Percival: Didn't you know that our friend Salome is after our beautiful
    goddess?
    Borus: Ha, ha, ha.  I bet he is.
    Salome: Stop it, Percival!
    Chris: Oh please!  Enough!
    Louis: Hee, hee.
    Borus: Hah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
    Leo: Hah, ha, ha, ha!  Then count me in, too!
    Roland: Me too!  I suppose.
    Percival: It seems as though everyone is after you!  I envy you, my dear Lady
    Chris!
    Chris: Can you please stop this nonsense, Percival?
    Salome: I am agreed, madam.  Enough!
    Percival: ....................................................
    Borus: Hah, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!
    Salome: We are falling behind.  I suggest we leave immediately.
    Chris: Leo and Percival, you'll remain in charge here.
    Percival: Yes, milady.
    Leo: We'll join you after attending to last minute details here.
    Salome: Well then, friends.
    
    [Head to Brass Castle]
    
    Borus: Here at last!  This is where we belong!
    Salome: Let me remind you that we cannot rest for long.  We must leave soon for
    the treaty negotiations as soon as we hear from the Grassland messenger.
    Chris: You mean to say we won't be able to wait for the rest of the Six
    Knights?
    Salome: No, I'm afraid not.  Surely you understand the urgency.
    
    [Louis runs into Lulu]
    
    Lulu: OOUUHH!
    Louis: Oops, pardon me.
    Chris: Are you alright, lad?  Please forgive my companion for getting in your
    way.
    Lulu: Yeah, well, what do you expect from an ironhead?
    Louis: What do you mean, "ironhead"?
    Chris: Those clothes.  You are... Karayan.
    Hugo: And who might YOU be?
    Chris: Of course.  I should have introduced myself first.  I am Chris
    Lightfellow, the acting Captain of the Zexen Knights.
    Hugo: Lightfellow?  That name sure sounds familiar.
    Roland: Captain, time is fleeting.  We must be on our way.
    Hugo: Wait, I must speak with you!
    Roland: Get back, young barbarian.  Here, WE decide who lives, who dies AND who
    speaks!
    Hugo: Are you threatening me?
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo-don't.
    Hugo: Damn!
    Roland: Time is of the essence now!
    Chris: Very well.  Our apologies once again, child.  Goodbye.
    Roland: Be careful what you do here.  This is Zexen land.
    Louis: Goodbye.  I do apologize.
    
    [They go further in]
    
    Chris: Roland, you were too confrontational.
    Roland: Please remember that you are the Captain's successor.  You must not
    hesitate to assert your authority.  That's my view.
    Chris: Still....
    Roland: Your men will doubt your ability to lead if you simply bow your head to
    the Grassland barbarians.
    Chris: That did not occur to me.  I apologize.
    Roland: Not necessary.  It's my error for overstepping my bounds.
    Chris: Assert my authority, hmmm...
    
    [Inside the castle]
    
    Louis: Luckily we arrived early, so we have time to tidy up before supper.  Let
    me straighten your room, Lady Chris.
    Chris: That's not something you should do.  It's someone else's task.
    Louis: Not a problem, Madam.  I am more comfortable doing this than training as
    a knight.
    Chris: But I must make a knight out of you or your father will never forgive
    me.  If you must, you can do the cleaning while I explore the fortress.  It's
    been a while since I went away to battle and returned in triumph to the
    capitol.
    Louis: It certainly has, madam.  Come to think of it, when we left the
    fortress, Captain Galahad and Vice Captain Pelize were still with us.
    Chris: You needn't remind me.
    
    [After wandering a bit]
    
    Chris: Whatever is going on?
    Salome: Madam.  It seems the Grassland messenger has just arrived.
    Chris: Then what is this big fuss about?
    Dupa: So what?  I don't care!
    Borus: I beg your pardon!  How rude!  Is this how you behave in the Grasslands?
    Dupa: We pay our respect to those who deserve it.  Otherwise, not.
    Borus: You will not get away with this!
    Chris: Stop it, both of you!  Borus, what is the matter with you?
    Borus: He called me a gatekeeper and demanded to see you in person.
    Chris: And you?
    Dupa: I am Dupa, the Left Fighter in Unit One of the Lizard Clan's Three Bodies
    Fighters.  I request personal audience with the captain of the Zexen Knights.
    Please show me to her.
    Chris: Since the position of the Captain of the Zexen Knights is vacant, I will
    receive you.
    Dupa: Hmmm... There was a rumor of a she-devil in the last war.  Don't tell me
    you are her!
    Borus: Silence!  I won't tolerate your impudence!  You should know better than
    to utter the words "she-devil!"
    Chris: I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.  If you do not
    believe me, your best option is to leave.
    Dupa: All right.  I will take your word.  In accordance with the Clan
    traditions, Chief Zepon of the Lizard Clan, one of the Grand Clans of the
    Grasslands sends this message to your honorable fighters, the Zexen Knights:
    One the evening after three suns set on the hill, we will hold a gathering on
    the Amur Plains to rest the Grides.
    Chris: What is he saying?
    Salome: He is saying that they will hold truce negotiations on the Amur Plains
    three days from today.
    Chris: We accept your proposal.  Both Zexen and the Grasslands will send five
    convoys.  We'll meet midway, between the two armies.
    Dupa: Agreed.  And do not be late.
    
    [Dupa starts to walk off, but stops to speak with Borus]
    
    Dupa: Human women hold no attraction for me, but your are in love with this
    one, aren't you?
    Borus: Hey!  Watch your mouth!
    Dupa: Hah, ha, ha, ha....  If you will excuse me, I must be going.
    Chris: I did not expect a message so soon after we arrived.  The Council is
    well-prepared, I see.
    
    [Out on the plains]
    
    Salome: It's about time.
    Borus: How do we know we can trust these Lizard bastards?
    Louis: I can see them coming.  I think that's them.
    
    [Some Grasslanders approach]
    
    Chris: I am Chris Lightfellow, the acting captain of the Zexen Knights.  I am
    here on behalf of the Zexen Council to sign an armistice with the Six Grassland
    Clans.  Let us leave the bloody past behind us and bring peace..... at least for
    now.
    Dupa: I am Dupa, the Left Fighter in Unit One of the Lizard Clan's Three Bodies
    Fighters.  I have a message from Chief Zepon, the chief of the Lizard Clan, one
    of the Grand Clans of Grassland.  Until the moon disappears, he is the leader
    of the Six Clans.  I will relate his message to the honorable fighters, the
    Zexen Knights, in accordance with our traditions.  Zepon wishes that we, who
    are crowned with the crest of wisdom, do not waste time.  He will be pleased to
    see that we have completed his wishes.
    Lucia: I am Lucia, chief of the Karaya Clan of the Six Clans.  It is
    unfortunate we have fought so many futile battles and carelessly shed blood.  I
    would hope that the Silver Maiden, who brought death and fear to the
    battleground, will now exercise her wisdom and courage maintaining the treaty.
    Chris: Why do you mock me?
    Lucia: Heh heh.  Forgive me, but your beauty and ferocity in battle made me a
    bit jealous, even though you fought against us.
    Chris: I will take that as a compliment.  Now, I must remind you that we are
    here only to fulfill our Council's orders.  It is up to the Council to comply
    with the treaty.
    Beecham: We've always thought it strange for a leader not to stake his life on
    the bargaining table.  This doesn't happen in Grassland or in the Southern City
    Federation.
    Chris: The Zexen Knights pledge an oath to the Zexen Rune and to the Council.
    In Zexen, the roles of the military and the government are separate.
    Dupa: How can a leader without military prowess govern and protect the nation?
    Salome: This may not be the best time to discuss our differences.
    Sana: We, the Chisha Clan, would like to thank our spirits in heaven and earth
    for this temporary truce.
    Salome: We share your sentiment.  Although we thank our Goddess instead.
    
    [Some time passes]
    
    Louis: Brrrr.  The wind is picking up.
    Borus: Poor Louis.  He misses the Brass Castle already.
    Louis: I do not!  You must be talking about yourself, Lord Borus.
    Chris: Ha-ha.
    Salome: I think Louis may be onto something.
    Borus: What?  Don't tell me you're siding with him now, Lord Salome.
    Salome: Hah, ha, ha....  Grasslands' side should be wrapping up their
    celebration
    soon.  Then we can pack immediately and return to the warm Brass Castle.
    Roland: Lady Chris, something is not right.  The Soldiers are agitated.
    Chris: What do you mean?
    Roland: Grassland troops are on the move.  We'd be wise to depart at once.
    Chris: We can't be so rude as to leave before the ceremony is over.
    Borus: I'd worry less about pomp and more about circumstances with these
    barbarians.
    Salome: He may be right.  This bothers me.
    Messenger: Sir!  There is a Lizard Clan unit at our rear and they are
    attacking!  There are more Lizard Clan troops on the right and the Karaya Clan
    troops on the left are advancing!
    Chris: What?!
    Messenger: There's been a surprise attack, sir!  It claimed the lives of both
    Lord Myriam, defending the right flank, and Lord Lanchet, who was trying to
    break through enemy lines to free the allies.
    Salome: That cannot be!
    Louis: S-Sir Myriam?
    Salome: Surely, the truce negotiations couldn't have been a trap....
    Borus: How could they have done this with such speed?  What was our sentry
    doing?
    Messenger: Those Lizards appeared from the rear and out of the blue.
    Salome: I didn't think they had a highway network in this region.  I thought
    we'd mapped every one of their routes.
    Borus: Damn those barbarians!
    Roland: No time to waste!  We'll be surrounded soon.
    Salome: .......
    
    [Battle begins]
    
    Borus: Barbarians!
    Salome: Borus, we don't know the whole story.  Please don't take any blind
    shot.
    
    [More units appear]
    
    Beecham:
    Lucia: There's no telling what has happened.  But if the Lizard Clan has taken
    up arms, we can't just stand by and watch.
    Salome: Captain, contact has been lost with the rear.  Our units risk being
    outflanked one by one.  We could break through and enter Grassland to escape...
    Chris: No!  That would consign the other knights to death!
    Borus: The captain is right.  I'll rip right through their pathetic line.
    Follow me!
    Roland: Borus, wait!  Listen to Salome.
    Salome: I do have a plan, but first we must break out of this tightening noose.
    Chris: Then so be it.  Let's fight our way out!
    Borus: If this scheme is Salome's, then it must be a good one.  Let's go!
    Roland: We must not overreact, but we must also clearly defend the honor of
    Zexen.
    
    [Reach the indicated spot]
    
    Salome: We're through.
    Chris: There isn't a moment to lose!
    
    [Gain a safe retreat]
    
    Louis: Whew!  That was close, but we made it.
    Borus: Curse those Barbarians!  I told you we shouldn't trust them!  Myriam and
    Lenchet!  What'll we ever do without them?  And there are more still trapped
    back there.
    Chris: What next, Salome?  We cannot retreat to the Brass Castle now.  Time is
    running out!
    Salome: There is a Karayan village not far from here.  We will raid it!
    Borus: Have you lost your mind?  Now's the time to get back and help our men in
    trouble, not seek new foes!
    Salome: Once they learn that their village has been attacked, the Karaya Clan
    will retreat.  Then our men will be able to escape from the enclosure.
    Roland: It might work... if we have enough time.
    Salome: We must try.  There's no other choice.
    Chris: Agreed!  Let's ride!
    
    [Arrive at the Karayan Village]
    
    Salome: Set the village on fire!  But don't harm the villagers.  Our object is
    to upset the Karayan troops.
    Zexen Knight: Yes, sir!
    Chris: I think we can depend on Borus and his men completing the rear attack.
    Let's do our part, Louis.
    Louis: Sir, yes, madam!  Some Karayan soldiers are still in the village.  I am
    here to guard you, my lady!
    Chris: That is very kind of you, Louis.
    
    [She goes further in, the village is on fire]
    
    Chris: The fire is spreading quickly.  Is it because of the wind?  I can't see
    any villagers.  This armor....  This coat of arms....  Can it be... my dear
    father's?
    But how....  I'd know this battle gear anywhere.  It IS my father's!  Does this
    mean that he was killed by a Karayan... here on this land?  How could that be?
    If someone here dishonored him...  This village... We'll be better off with it
    gone.
    Louis: Be careful, my lady!
    Chris: Ooh!
    
    [Lulu approaches and Chris kills him in one hit]
    
    Chris: Who was it?  A mere boy?
    
    [The rest of Hugo's group approaches]
    
    Hugo: Noooooo!  Lulu, no!  Why?  Why did this have to happen?!  I...  I went to
    Zexen to stop this.  Why didn't they... take my message... Why?!
    Chris: I-I didn't....
    Hugo: Why?  I demand to know why!
    Chris: I did not know a child was attacking me.
    Hugo: The truce was a lie.  It was a lie to make this easier for you!
    Chris: No!  Not true!
    Salome: Let us make haste, Captain.  Enemy reinforcements approach.
    Chris: I am sorry... ...child.
    
    [They head to the rear of the village to find Borus]
    
    Salome: as I suspected, the Karayan army is approaching.  Let's go to the rear
    of the village and join Borus.
    
    [They get to the rear and find many dead bodies]
    
    Chris: what on earth....  Who did this, Salome?
    Salome: Could it have been... Borus and his men?  Nay, they couldn't have done
    this....
    Chris: Grrr!  Assemble our men, immediately!  Sound the retreat.  This
    infuriates me!
    Salome: Aye, m'lady.  Right away!
    Chris: How could this be?
    
    [Back at Brass Castle]
    
    Chris: Is everyone accounted for?
    Salome: Yes, we located all the injured men.  Fifty men on horseback escaped.
    We searched the bodies after the Grasslanders retreated.  Myriam and Lanchet
    were killed.
    Chris: As expected.  I see.
    Salome: I blame myself.  I should have seen through their charade; been more
    careful....
    Borus: Now we know them for the liars they are.  They will not get away with
    this!
    
    [In Chris' chamber]
    
    Louis: Good morning, milady.  Everyone has finished breakfast already.  And
    you?
    
    [Head to Salome's room]
    
    Salome: So you had no hand in this massacre, Borus?
    Borus: Definitely not!  I swear by my sword, sir!
    Salome: Borus, I believe your word and apologize for even suspecting you.  I
    hope you will forgive me.
    Borus: .........
    Roland: In all that confusion it was difficult to get a clear picture of what
    was happening.
    Salome: Regardless...  We can't let wild rumors spread and cause unnecessary
    commotion.  Oh...
    
    [Chris approaches]
    
    Salome: A thousand pardons, milady.  We shouldn't be at each other's throats
    wildly speculating...
    Chris: It's understandable.
    Borus: Milady, I....
    Chris: Borus, I know you can't lie.  Can you?
    Borus: No, my lady.  I swear....
    Salome: Milady, there is a summons from the Council regarding yesterday's
    cancellation of the treaty negotiations.
    Chris: Well, well.  News travels quickly.  I'll take Borus and Louis.  Salome
    and Roland, you stay here and keep an eye on the movements of the Grasslanders.
    Salome: As you wish, my Lady.
    Roland: What a relief!  I do not particularly care for Vinay del Zexay.
    Borus: Excuse me, I must prepare for the trip.  I will meet you at the gate.
    
    [Borus leaves]
    
    Salome: I've been too hard on Borus.
    
    [Outside Chris finds Leo and Percival]
    
    Leo: Madam, we heard about Myriam and Lanchet.  If only we'd returned to the
    Brass Castle earlier, we could have saved out men....  What a shame!  We lost
    valuable knights....
    Chris: Ay....
    Leo: If I hadn't gone after that rat....
    Chris: What rat?
    Leo: That's....
    Chris: ?
    Percival: Ha, ha, ha, ha!  It's a sorry story.  Lord Leo still can't get over
    losing sight of that rodent!
    
    [Find Borus at the gate]
    
    Borus: Milady, are you all set?
    Chris: I'm ready.  Shall we go?
    Borus: Certainly.  Let's get started.
    Chris: Borus....
    Borus: Don't mind me.  I'll be fine.
    
    [In Zexen Forest]
    
    Rico: Phew....  Uh....  Master Fred, really, let's take a break for a bit....
    Please, Master Fred....
    Fred: You just don't get it, do you, Rico?  If we rest, even for a moment, evil
    will prevail.  Don't ever forget that, kid.
    Rico: I won't, Master.  Really!
    Fred: ?
    Chris: .........
    
    [Fred walks up to them]
    
    Chris: Looking for something?
    Fred: Your armor....  I suppose you are Zexen Knights.
    Chris: You are quite right.  And who might you be?
    Fred: Allow me, madam.  Fred Maximillian, the captain of the Maximillian
    Knights, at your service.  I came from afar to carry out my grandfather's wish
    to conquer evil.  I would like to learn anything you know that could help me.
    Chris: I am Chris Lightfellow of the Zexen Knights.  Nice to meet you, sir.
    What do you mean, "conquer evil"?  Do you know anything about this, Borus?
    Borus: I'm afraid not, milady.
    Fred: It seems he calls himself a "Fire Bringer."  And his master is said to be
    the "Flame Champion," an ex-knight who crossed over to the evil side.
    Chris: Flame Champion?
    Borus: You are talking about olden times.  I only heard about the "Flame
    Champion" from my grandmother when I was a child.
    Louis: When Lord Borus was a boy....
    Borus: What are you thinking, Louis?
    Louis: Er.... Nothing, sir.
    Chris: Sorry we couldn't be of more help.
    Fred: Quite all right.  Sorry to have bothered you.  Rico, it seems we are off
    track.  Let's head further north!
    Rico: Yes, sir, yes!  But could we rest for a few seconds?
    Fred: We'll be off then.  Safe travels to you.
    Rico: Sir!  Wait!  Just a minute... I'm coming!  Wait for me!
    Chris: I hope you find what you seek.
    
    [In Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Chris: It's funny, when we left the other day,  I had no idea we'd be back this
    soon.
    Louis: Lady Chris, you live here yet you don't care for Vinay del Zexay?
    Chris: Yes, Louis.  The city is a little stifling at the moment.
    Borus: Do you feel more at home on the battlefield?  You can't feel comfortable
    at Brass Castle with all those ruffians around.
    Chris: Actually, neither is that bad.
    Borus: That's our goddess of the battleground.  Let us be blessed with
    continuous good fortune in combat.
    Chris: Oh, Borus!
    Borus: Hah, ha, ha....  At any rate, this summons....
    Chris: Yes, this summons....  I know I am to blame.  I shall not avoid
    punishment.
    Borus: Damn it!  What if the Council knew about it?!
    Chris: Don't say anything, Borus.
    
    [Inside Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Civil Servant: Please wait here, we will call you once everything is ready.
    Chris: Balderdash!  Again I wait, and they were the ones summoning me.
    
    [A flash of the scene with Lulu]
    
    Chris: His anger towards Borus and the other knights...  Could it have been
    meant
    for me?
    
    [A flash of Hugo's anger towards Chris]
    
    Chris: Should I have questioned my dedication to protecting the Zexen people?
    No, I knew I'd face animosity when I chose the life of a knight.
    
    [Another flash of that scene]
    
    Chris: No, I am a Zexen Knight through and through.
    
    [The door opens]
    
    Civil Servant: We are ready to proceed.  This way, Madam.
    Chris: Thank you.
    Civil Servant: Is there anything wrong?
    Chris: No, thank you.  I was just absorbed in my thoughts.
    Civil Servant: Absorbed in thought?
    Chris: Yes, I was thinking what I could do for Zexen.
    Civil Servant: Surely you jest!  I know of no more dedicated Zexen than you!
    Chris: I appreciate that.
    
    [In the Council chamber]
    
    Chris: You want me to move my army into the Grasslands?
    Council Member: Indeed we do.
    Chris: What was the point of the ceasefire with the Grasslanders?  Why were the
    Zexen Knights last brought to battle?
    Council Member: It was the enemy who first breached the agreement, was it not?
    Council Member: In any case, the negotiations were meant as a tactical delay,
    that's all.
    Council Member: We needed time for the Zexen Knights to regain their strength
    after losing both the captain and vice captain.  Now we have you as the head of
    the Knights, Lady Chris.
    Council Member: I heard you burned down a Karayan village, one of the Six Clans
    of the Grasslands.  This was quite an accomplishment and should be highly
    commended.
    Chris: It was my only recourse.  It had to be done to protect our Knights.
    Council Member: All the better to enhance the reputation of the Silver Maiden
    who saved her army from danger and exterminated the barbarian village.  This
    will be heard of even as far as the holy Harmonia and Dunan.
    Chris: I do not seek glory for such a deed.  The attack on the Karayan village
    was only intended to rescue our men.  It was not an act of bravery.
    Council Member:  Do not be so modest.  We value your accomplishments very
    highly.    Your stand against the barbarians gives credence to your title of
    "White Hero".
    Council Member:  Can't you see how this current state of confusion within the
    Karayan forces offers us a great opportunity?
    Chris: Our job is to protect the Zexens and their land.  If the council wishes
    to invade another land, do so with your own combat teams.
    Council Member:  By weakening the Grassland forces, you ensure the strength of
    the Zexens, do you not?  I might also add that this is a council decision.
    It's your duty to serve our will.
    Chris: .........
    Council Member:  Can we expect you to return immediately to the Brass Castle
    and begin your operations?  Captain?
    Chris: Yes, sir.
    Council Member:  Let me give thanks to our Goddess for allowing us this
    occasion to gather here today.
    Chris: Let me give thanks to our Goddess... for allowing us this occasion to
    gather here today.
    
    [Outside]
    
    Borus: Milady, how did the summons go?
    Chris: They formally promoted me to captain for burning down the Karayan
    village, and, to celebrate the promotion, we were ordered to attack the Lizard
    Clan.
    Louis: Oh....  Are we leaving for the Brass Castle immediately?
    Chris: It's too late to travel today.  We'll sleep here and embark at first
    light.
    Borus: Yes, milady.  Let me walk you home.
    
    [At Chris' home]
    
    Borus: Good night, Lady Chris.  Shall I call for you in the morning?
    Chris: Not necessary, but thanks, Borus.  Take care of yourself-don't drink too
    much tonight and oversleep.
    Borus: You can depend on it.  I will behave myself.
    
    [Inside - if Hugo delivered the pentacle]
    
    Butler: Welcome home, Lady Chris.  Hot water is prepared for your bath.
    Chris: I would have contacted you sooner, but I was called back at short
    notice.
    Butler: Not to worry, milady.  We are always here to serve you, whenever the
    need.
    Chris: Whew!  I'm terribly tired.
    Butler: If it's not too much of a bother, might you spare a few minutes, madam?
    Chris: Sure.  What do you need?
    Butler: Lady Chris.
    
    [The Butler hands her the pentacle Hugo delivered]
    
    Chris: This coat of arms is....
    Butler: Yes, milady, this belongs to the Lightfellow Family.  And....
    Chris: It is!  It belonged to my dear father....
    Butler: As you say, milady....
    Chris: Where did you find it?
    Butler: A Grassland boy brought it here in your absence.  Don't worry.  He was
    paid fairly for his efforts.
    Chris: A boy from the Grassland....
    
    End of Chris Chapter 1
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Geddoe - Prologue [ChGeddoe1]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    ???: This means we must go our separate ways.
    ???: If that is our destiny, we must thank the gods.
    ???: I can't tell if we're being cursed or blessed, but I have faith in this
    world-as long as even the slightest trace of the truth remains in the world.
    ???: Goodbye, my friends.  Forgive me for not being able to go with you.
    ???: I'm sure our paths will cross again.
    ???: We've always trusted your decisions.  We still do.
    ???: Thank you.
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Geddoe - Chapter 1
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Ace: How can you drink like that so early in the day?  You good-for-nothing
    fool!
    Joker: Who asked you?  I've seen you wasted before noon plenty of times.
    Ace: Now now, though!  We're working!  Get it?  I'm the only reason you can
    lounge around all day, you know.
    Queen: Gee, thanks.  What would we do without you?
    Jacques: Mmm-hmmm.
    Ace: Heh!  By the way, where's the captain?  Is he in his room?  Think he's...
    in
    a bad mood?
    Queen: Who knows?  He's a hard one to read.
    Joker: Since you're so indispensable, why don't you go up there and see if he's
    all right.  He calls the shots and keeps us fed, after all.
    Ace: Yeah, yeah.
    
    [Ace goes to Geddoe's room]
    
    Ace: Sorry to bother you, Captain.
    
    [Door opens]
    
    Ace: ...but we've just received orders from headquarters.
    Geddoe: What do they say?
    Ace: I quote "There are rumors of the Fire Bringer once again making a move in
    northern Grassland.  Confirm your situation.
    Geddoe: Fire Bringer?
    Ace: It's hard to imagine that a spirit from over 50 years ago could rise up
    again.  What should we do?  Should we accept?
    Geddoe: ......
    Geddoe: It's necessary, right?
    Ace: All right.  I'll get right on it, and kick their butts into shape.  This
    should help things.
    
    [Geddoe heads downstairs]
    
    Joker: How are we supposed to check out this Fire Bringer rumor?
    Ace: Let's put our heads together and come up with a plan.  Between the 5 of
    us, someone's got to have at least one good idea.
    Queen: Brainstorming's not my thing.
    Jacques: Same here.
    Ace: Oh, come on!  Grrr.  Why do I always have to do everything around here?
    Well, at least we have a lead.  The Fire Bringer rumor is coming from the
    village of Iksay.  That's near the Grassland border, and once we cross it,
    we're in Lizard Clan territory.
    Joker: And?
    Ace: Then we look around.
    Joker: You call that a lead?
    Queen: Well, it's better than going into the Grasslands with nothing.  Besides,
    we can probably count on the information that knight gave us.
    Jacques: I agree.
    Joker: I guess we'll just have to go.
    Ace: All right, it's decided!  Captain, we should pull out of here right away!
    Geddoe: Right now?
    Ace: Of course!  We have to go, right now!
    
    [Outside the inn]
    
    Ace: Ahhh, finally!  We have a mission!  Took everything I had to convince the
    captain we should go.
    Joker: He takes convincing, I know.  But it's not like you're an inspiration,
    either, Ace.
    Ace: I beg your pardon?  You think you set a better example, sitting on your
    butt, drinking all day?
    Queen: Cut it out, you two.  We have to go.
    
    [Upon trying to leave Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Ace: All right.  We're off to the Grassland, land of the wild barbarians.  Say
    good-bye to lovely Vinay del Zexay.
    Joker: Right.  You're from here, aren't you?
    Ace: You could say that.  I was once one of Gilbert's mercenaries.
    Joker: So, is that how you ended up in the border defense force?
    Ace: There were plenty of reasons.  I'm sure you have yours.
    Queen: I suppose.
    Jacques: .....
    Ace: I'm sure Captain Geddoe has gone through a lot more than we have.  Right,
    Captain?
    Geddoe: I don't know.
    Ace: Come on, let's go!  I will bid a fond farewell to the soft sea breeze of
    Zexay, and look forward to my return.
    
    [In Zexen forest]
    
    Fred: Hey!  Hurry up, Rico!!  If we don't hustle, they're going to get away!
    Rico: I'm sorry, Master Fred!
    Fred: If someone ever tries to start a war on this continent, we, the
    Maximillian Knights, must fight to stop that menace.  This is such a time,
    Rico.  We have an important mission to carry out.
    Rico: Y-Yes!  I understand, Master Fred!
    Fred: Good!  I just want us to be clear on that.  Now, let's go!
    
    [He turns and sees Geddoe's group]
    
    Fred: What's this?
    Geddoe: Who are they?
    Fred: [Walks up to them] Excuse me, great right.  I've come here to explore a
    rumor that an evil knight is here in Grassland.  Do you know anything about
    this?
    Geddoe: I'm afraid not.
    Fred: I see.... Well, thank you very much.  Let's go, Rico.
    Rico: Y-yes, sir!  Wait for me!
    Geddoe: What was that about?
    
    [Group enters the Great Hollow]
    
    Joker: We've come this far without a plan.  So now what?
    Ace: Well, let's see... First of all, we should offer our greetings to the
    Lizard
    Men in the Great Hollow.
    
    [A bunch of lizards come out with weapons, ready for a fight.]
    
    Queen: Greetings, huh?
    Ace: A little rough, but I think it's their way...
    Joker: They seem pretty upset.  I wonder what's up.
    Shiba: Who are you people?  You're not from Grassland.
    Ace: No, um... We're traveling merchants.
    Queen: Dressed like this?
    Joker: This is another fine mess you've gotten us into.  We're not trained to
    go up against these guys.
    Ace: If you'd spent as much time training as you did drinking, we'd all be
    better off!
    Joker: How dare you.  You decided the Unit would pay our room and board.
    Ace: Within reason.  But you lost your reasoning months ago!
    Joker: Oh sure!  We all know you benefited just as much as we did by not having
    to pay for the girls you bring back.
    Ace: Look, you!  I had everyone's best interests at heart!
    Shiba: Hey...
    Ace: Hey, hey... Hang on a second!  We're not your enemies!
    
    [Geddoe steps forward towards Shiba]
    
    Geddoe: We are from the east.  I am the warrior Geddoe, born from the flame.
    Taking the pledge and following the ways of the past.  I would like to meet the
    great warrior, Chief Zepon.  That is our only request.
    Shiba: Well, this is a surprise.  To think humans could have such manners!  I
    am Shiba, a warrior of the Lizard Clan's fighting units.  Following the ways of
    the past, I will welcome you.
    Ace: Well, what a surprise!  I didn't know the Captain had a lizard friend.
    Geddoe: There's a lot you don't know.
    Joker: Thank goodness we didn't have to fight.  I don't have it in me.  I'm not
    even sure I can use magic in the state I'm in.
    Queen: .....  There.  Everything is fine.  You can come out, Jacques.
    
    [Jacques comes out from wherever he was hiding]
    
    Jacques: How boring...
    
    [The group enters the Great Hollow]
    
    Geddoe: Why all the commotion?  You're not preparing for war, are you?
    Shiba: No.  We're about to sign an armistice with the Zexen people, so there's
    no call for war.  But, since yesterday, we've noticed certain suspicious
    activities.
    Geddoe: Suspicious?
    Shiba: A number of warriors were killed while they were out hunting.  The
    wounds look like they were inflicted by Zexen swords.  And our prophet told us
    that something is about to happen.
    Geddoe: Do Lizard Clan warriors believe in prophets?
    Shiba: If we only followed prophecy, we would never win a battle.  Prophecy
    can't fight for you.  If an enemy approaches with steel, you have to respond
    with steel.
    Geddoe: I agree.  Battle is first and foremost about tactics.  How is the
    morale of your warriors?
    Shiba: Our morale is high when we successfully protect the Clan.  Even the
    young ones are inspired to become warriors then.
    Geddoe: Hmmm.  Always something to dream about....
    
    [Further in]
    
    Shiba: Is this the first time you've entered this cavern?  Stay close to me.
    Don't stray.
    
    [Near the ramp]
    
    Shiba: The chief's room is upstairs.  Don't fall.
    
    [At the top]
    
    Shiba: We're almost there.
    
    [Outside the chief's room]
    
    Shiba: This is the room of Zepon, a proud and respected warrior, and chief of
    the Lizard Clan.  You may enter, warrior Geddoe.  Your followers may wait here.
    
    [Geddoe enters leaving the rest behind]
    
    Ace: Followers, huh...?
    [Inside the chief's room]
    
    Geddoe: Then, the rumor is...
    Zepon: I cannot say it is true, nor can I say it is false.
    Geddoe: ....
    Zepon: Is fate at work here?
    Geddoe: It seems that way.
    Zepon: I wish you safe travels.
    Geddoe: Thank you.
    
    [Back outside]
    
    Joker: Hey, I'm getting tired of this.  Your stories are always full of holes.
    Ace: Full of holes?  But I really saw it...
    Queen: You saw it with your own eyes?  I'm so tired of that line.
    Ace: Come on, give me a break!  You all looked so bored, so I just thought I'd
    brighten things up.
    Joker: You're annoying us, so keep your mouth shut.  Do like Jacques.
    Jacques: I like his story.
    Queen: ??????????
    
    [Geddoe comes out]
    
    Ace: C-Captain.  How did it go?
    Geddoe: Pretty good.  I got permission to set up base here.  This is as good a
    place as any to start from.
    Queen: We have to sleep with reptiles?
    
    [explore the place a bit]
    
    Geddoe: What's going on?
    Lizard Fighter: We have an intruder.  You stay out of this.
    
    [The lizards run off]
    
    Ace: Are we going to let him order us around?
    Queen: I guess.
    
    [Following the lizards]
    
    Lizard Fighter: It's you!!!  You're the intruders!!!
    
    [After a bit of time]
    
    Shiba: Hold it!  Those people are our guests!!
    Lizard Fighter: Oh my... My apologies!  I'm very sorry.
    Shiba: Move out!
    Lizard Fighter: Yes, sir!
    Geddoe: What's going on, anyway?  Looks like your fighters are out in full
    force.
    Shiba: An intruder has penetrated the inner sanctum of our Great Hollow.
    Geddoe: An intruder... What's he after...?
    Shiba: This is an act of war against our Clan.  We must not let him get away.
    Geddoe: We will help you.  After all, we are hugely indebted to Chief Zepon.
    Shiba: Thank you.  I apologize, my guest.
    
    [The group goes further in]
    
    Lizard: Shiba!  This way!  Hurry!
    
    [Exit the Great Hollow and come upon Zexens fighting and dead lizards]
    
    Shiba: Hey!  You there!  Ironheads!  What are you doing here?
    Chris: We wanted to see just how powerful the greatest warrior clan among the
    Six Clans was.
    Shiba: Are you toying with us?  We consider this an act of war!
    Chris: So what do you intend to do?  Shake your scales at us, or use your
    swords?
    Shiba: Swords!!!
    Geddoe: Wait!
    
    [Get butt kicked]
    
    Queen: With this many against us...
    Shiba: Unghhh....
    Geddoe: ....
    Chris: I think it's about time.
    Geddoe: What is this about?  This isn't like the Knights of Zexen!
    Chris: One day, you will understand.
    
    [The knights leave]
    
    Geddoe: What the...?
    
    [Back inside]
    
    Ace: I can't figure it out.  Why would they pull something like that just
    before the armistice?
    Joker: That's something we'd all like to know.
    Ace: ...
    Jacques: It was strange, though.  You know, those knights...?  Their tracks were
    too light.
    Ace: Tracks?
    Geddoe: ....
    Queen: Geddoe!  Quick!  There's a huge commotion happening right by where you
    met with the chief.
    
    [Head back to the chief's room]
    
    Shiba: ...How could this...  How could this happen...?
    Geddoe: What happened?
    Shiba: Who'd have thought they were after... They were after our Chief...  We
    have
    failed.
    Geddoe: What?!  Who did this?  How?!
    Shiba: He's already... It's terrible in there... How could we let him down?
    Geddoe: Zepon is dead...
    
    [The lizards are marching off]
    
    Ace: Shouldn't we try to stop them, Captain?  Aren't you worried about this?
    Queen: The knights may have been response, but we don't know their reasons yet.
    Geddoe: Hmmm....  I don't think we could stop them if we tried.  The loss of
    their chief has angered them beyond the point of reason.
    Joker: So what should we do now?  Keep trying to find the Fire Bringer?
    Geddoe: We should pay a visit to the renowned Lucia, chief of the Karaya
    Village.  She may know something.
    Queen: When you say "renowned," you mean "beautiful," right?  Doesn't matter.
    There's not a lot for us to do around here anymore.
    
    [Head to Karaya Village]
    
    Ace: Hey, Captain!  What will we do when we reach the Village of Karaya?  Do
    you know anyone there?
    Geddoe: You could say that.
    Joker: Then where is our welcoming committee?
    Queen: I wonder.
    Aila: Who are you?  What is your business with our village?
    Joker: Business...?
    Ace: Whoa, what a cute little thing.  You see, we're, let's say... we're a
    traveling circus.  I'm Ace, the knife thrower.  Jacques and Queen over there
    are acrobats.  And our boss, dressed in black here, is an animal tamer.  That
    old man knows magic tricks from faraway lands.
    Aila: Don't try to fool me!
    Ace: Hold on, now!  Don't furrow that pretty young brow of yours.  You'll get
    wrinkles early on.
    Aila: Who cares about wrinkles!  How dare you talk to me like this?
    Ace: ???????
    Ace: I don't think this is going too well.  Captain?
    Joker: Give me a break!
    Jacques: ...
    
    [A fight ensues]
    
    Aila: You!  You're all liars and probably spies too.  Tell me who you REALLY
    are!  Now!
    Ace: What harsh words for such an adorable child!  We're not looking for a
    fight, okay?
    Jimba: Hold it!  Aila!
    Aila: Jimba!  Why are you stopping me?!  These people brought weapons into
    Karaya!
    Jimba: I'm sorry, Aila.  These are my guests.
    Joker: Better curb your temper before you hurt yourself.
    Aila: ...
    Geddoe: I'm sorry.  I really didn't mean any harm.  I wasn't sure I could
    explain the situation clearly.
    Aila: Wha-?  Explain!
    
    [Aila runs off]
    
    Jimba: I apologize.  Most of our warriors are away, so those who remain are
    very edgy.
    Geddoe: Oh?  What happened?
    Jimba: Let's make our way to the village.  I'll try to make up for the
    unfortunate greeting.
    Geddoe: All right.
    
    [Group goes to meet with Jimba, Geddoe leaves everyone behind again]
    
    Ace: Another one of the Captain's secret discussions, huh?
    Joker: It's always the same.
    Ace: I wish he'd occasionally let us in on his meetings.  Doesn't he trust us?
    Queen: I think we all trust each other.  Otherwise, we wouldn't be putting our
    lives in his hands, and in his in ours.  Don't you agree?
    Joker: He has plenty of secrets, but I've never known him to lie.
    Ace: Sure, I know... That's pretty obvious but, why can't he let us in on his
    plans, his thoughts...?  He's just so distant!
    Queen: ...
    Ace: Oh, well... I'm getting kind of hungry.  Old man, how about you?  How about
    checking out the village and seeing if we can find something to eat?
    Joker: Good idea.  I'm starting to get hungry, too.
    Ace: Queen, what about you?
    Queen: I'll pass.  The Karaya Clan are hunters and eat a lot of meat.
    Ace: Oh that's right, you're a vegetarian... Anyone seen Jacques around?
    Joker: I saw him wander out of the village.  Who knows where he went?  He's
    always disappearing.
    Ace: Then I guess it's just the two of us.
    
    [Separate from the group to find food]
    
    Aila: Hold it!  What is the meaning of this?!
    Ace: ???  It's that little girl again.
    Joker: It sounds pretty serious.
    Ace: We may be outsiders, but how about we take a little peek and see what's
    going on?
    
    [They go to check things out and see Aila talking with a strange woman]
    
    Woman: Please listen to me.  You must get out of here, all of you...
    immediately!
    Aila: Have you lost your mind?  We'd never abandon our village!  Do you think
    we're cowards?!
    Woman: That man has condemned you all to die.  He has discovered something that
    will let him justify a million deaths.  However, my weak spirit... is not yet
    ready.  So, please heed my warning.  Death will consume this village, but only
    this village need be sacrificed.  Hurry!  You must all flee!
    Aila: Enough with your nonsense!  Why are you saying we must sacrifice Karaya?!
    Woman: As I thought... It's useless...  Just as I feared...
    
    [The woman does some strange spell]
    
    Ace: What was that?
    Joker: That woman has great powers.  And it's no mere magic, that's true
    sorcery!
    Ace: Hey, we could be in trouble!
    Aila: Why, you!  Sorceress!  Spirits, please protect me!
    
    [They move to attack her, she vanishes and reappears]
    
    Aila: ...
    Woman: Make haste!  Get out of here now!
    
    [She vanishes for good now]
    
    Aila: You're not getting away!
    
    [Aila runs off after her]
    
    Ace: She took off.
    Joker: I think we should follow her.  And I'll bet that woman knows some things
    we could use.
    Ace: All right.  Let's do it.
    
    [Ace and Joker take off to find Aila who is trying to find the woman]
    
    Aila: Unh!
    
    [She runs off further as Joker and Ace arrive]
    
    Ace: She sure can run fast!
    Joker: That's a Grasslander for you.  But, where did she go?
    Ace: Have we lost her?  Now what do we do?  Wait a minute...  Look there...
    
    [Off in the distance they can see Aila]
    
    Ace: Let's go!
    Joker: Right.
    
    [Catch up to Aila]
    
    Ace: Hey, little girl!  Tag, you're it!  Whoa!  Don't get so mad!
    Aila: The spirits of the earth protect the people of Karaya.  They will save
    us.
    
    [Aila takes off again]
    
    Ace: Wh-?  Hey, wait a minute!
    Joker: I guess this means we won't be eating for a while.
    
    [Back in the village]
    
    Jimba: It's been a long while.
    Geddoe: I never thought you'd come back here.
    Jimba: Same to you.  What brings you back?  Isn't this supposed to be a cursed
    land to you?
    Geddoe: Is it really?
    Jimba: So... are you going to tell me?
    Geddoe: Sure.  We're tracking down a rumor about the Fire Bringer re-appearing.
    Jimba: I've heard rumors like that often.  Recently, the bandits who wreaked
    havoc with the Matilda Knights a decade ago, spoke of the Fire Bringer.
    Geddoe: Yes, but this is different.  I went to see the chief of the Lizard
    Clan, but soon after meeting him, he was killed.  Someone's trying to stir up
    trouble.  And now this Fire Bringer rumor... the old legend...
    Jimba: Too many coincidences?
    Geddoe: Yes, basically.
    Jimba: Hmmm....
    
    [A Karayan fight comes running in]
    
    Karayan Fighter: Jimba!  Come quickly!  It's urgent!
    Jimba: What's going on?!
    
    [Queen arrives]
    
    Queen: It might be wise for us to leave, too.  It's clear that something's
    amiss here.  We'd better check it out, don't you think?
    
    [Back to Joker and Ace who have caught up to Aila and the woman]
    
    Aila: I got you!  You're not getting away this time!
    Woman: I'm impressed you could find me.
    Aila: My grandmother was the mystic of my village.  When you use sorcery like
    hers, the spirits around you start screaming.
    Woman: I see...  So barbarians have more than just superstitions to guide them.
    Refreshing!  At the very least, your life was spared.
    Aila: Wh-what?!
    
    [Two men appear]
    
    Man in coat: I can't have you off doing whatever you want, Sarah.
    Sarah: ...
    Man in Black: What's this?  An after dinner treat?
    Aila: !!!
    
    [Ace and Joker arrive]
    
    Ace: Joker!
    Joker:Here!
    
    [Ace and Joker grab Aila and run]
    
    Man in Black: Hm.  Pretty shrewd guys...
    
    Aila: Hey, what do you want?!
    Ace: This is not a game.  Don't let your pride get in the way.  You need to
    know your opponents.  That man in black was no ordinary man.  I've seen a lot
    of evil characters, but nothing like that.  If we hadn't gotten out of there
    when we did, we'd be history.
    Aila: I had to try.
    Ace: You can tell without trying.  Never pick a fight unless you know your
    enemy's strengths and weaknesses.  Only a fool fights blindly.
    Aila: Pfft!  There is a fighter in Karaya who would accept defeat before they
    even tried!
    Ace: Arrg!  How can I make you see?  Hey, Joker!
    Joker: Oh, no...
    Ace: ?
    Joker: Just look at that.
    
    [They see smoke rising in the distance]
    
    Aila: Th-the village... This can't be!
    Joker: What are we waiting for?  You're one of those Karayan fighters, aren't
    you?
    Aila: Yes... Yes... I am...
    
    [Head back to the village]
    
    Queen: There is nothing we can do.  We'd better leave.
    Geddoe: You're right.
    Borus: Burn them all!  Don't let those savages get away!
    Queen: It doesn't look like those knights will leave anything behind.
    Geddoe:  We should stay out of this if we can.
    Queen: I guess.  Let me leave our sign.
    Geddoe: Let's go!
    Borus: !!!!
    Borus: Oh yeah!!!!!
    Geddoe: This is just the beginning.
    Queen: Here is a present.  It's pretty valuable, as far as defense force
    equipment goes.
    Borus: Damn!!!  Go after them!
    
    [Arrows come flying at Borus]
    
    Borus: Who are those people?!
    
    [Queen and Geddoe escape]
    
    Queen: They sure are going at it, aren't they?
    Geddoe: Sadly, yes.
    Queen: What's gotten into those knights?  First it's the Lizard Clan and then
    the Karaya Clan.  They seem a lot more violent than usual.
    Geddoe: Who knows?
    Queen: Are you holding something back again?
    Geddoe: Ummm...
    Queen: Don't worry.  I don't expect an answer.  It's just that we all trust you
    and depend on you.  That's all.
    Geddoe: I'm sorry.
    Ace: Look!  It's Queen and the Captain.  I see you survived.
    Queen: Not too hard to figure out.
    Joker: It's pretty bad back there....
    Queen: What's wrong with the girl?
    Ace: She's nut!  She tried charging the knights by herself.  I could barely
    drag her away.
    Queen: In any case, I think we should wait quietly here until dawn.  Wouldn't
    want to make a stupid move and face some angry Grasslanders and those knights.
    Ace: Good thinking.  By the way, where's Jacques?
    Jacques: Here.
    Ace: Glad you're okay.  Where've you been all this time?
    Jacques: Thought I'd catch a rabbit for dinner.
    Ace: Well, where is it?
    Jacques: All that mayhem over there scared it away.
    Ace: Hahahaha.... Imagine that.
    
    [The night passes]
    
    Ace: ...... Let's get going.  It looks like the knights have left.
    Joker: That's good.  So, where are we going?
    Queen: We didn't really learn anything from the Karaya or Lizard Clans, that
    leaves the Chisha, Duck, Safir, and Alma Kinan clans.  But before we go
    anywhere, I would like to gather more information from the mercenaries in
    Caleria.
    Geddoe: That sounds sensible.  Let's head to Caleria.
    Joker: It's been six months now.  I'll bet there's a lot of filing waiting for
    you, Ace.
    Ace: Maybe so.  I know there'd be a box full of files if were to report all of
    your... illicit... activities.
    Joker: Hm.  I think I know why you took that job.  Where did that expense money
    go?  Spent on women?
    Ace: Ah...  Shut up!
    Queen: What do you want to do?  Do you want to come with us?  The villagers who
    escaped scattered all over the place.  Since we don't know where they went, we
    can't really go after them.
    Aila: Will I...  Do you think I'll see that woman again, if I go with you?
    Queen: What woman?
    Ace: We ran into a strange woman just before the onslaught.  She seemed to know
    the attack was coming.  Joker, the girl and I went after her.
    Queen: Hmm... That couldn't be...
    Geddoe: If fighting is in your blood, come along.  They say Karaya warriors are
    brave.  Are you?
    Aila: Uh, of course!
    
    [Aila joins the group]
    
    Ace: Uh, excuse me... Captain.  That's all fine and dandy, but who's going to
    pay
    for her room and board and food, and...?
    Joker: I presume you can handle that.  After all, you're in charge of the
    Unit's expenses.
    Jacques: She can have my share...
    Ace: Really?  That would sure help!
    Queen: Ace!!!
    Ace: Uh, I mean... That was just  That was a joke!
    
    [Head to the Lake Castle instead]
    
    Cecile: H-Halt!  Who goes there?
    Ace: No one special.  Just us.
    Cecile: Evildoers!
    Ace: Evildoers?  We're quite the opposite, in fact.
    Thomas: Cecile?  What's going on here?
    Cecile: Hi, Thomas!  I caught these mountain bandits!
    
    Thomas: Please excuse her.  It seems she misunderstood.  As master of the
    castle, I offer my apologies.
    Joker: We don't appreciate being treated like mountain bandits.
    Ace: Maybe it's that scary face of yours.
    Joker: Why, you...
    Thomas: So, have you come here to open a business?
    Geddoe: Business?  What do you mean by that?
    Thomas: Well, this castle has recently opened itself up to free trade.  We
    lease the land to people who want to open businesses.  I thought maybe you came
    here because you heard about it, but I guess that's not the case.
    Ace: That's a pretty strange thing for a castle to be doing.  I'm surprised the
    Zexen Council approved that.  Those greedy old men see any new business as an
    enemy, after all.
    Martha: That's not really an issue.  You see, this is common land, held by both
    Zexen and Grassland.  So, it's really not the business of the Zexen Council.
    Ace: She said that it's none of their business, Captain.
    Martha: See for yourself.  This is the record that proves it.  The Zexen Guild
    Federation and the Six Clans of Grassland agreed to the arrangement made by the
    "Fire Bringer" to make this place common land, held by both Zexen and
    Grassland.
    Joker: This appears to be legitimate document.
    Martha: It is.  So, how about it?  Do you want to open up a business and bring
    lots of customers here?
    Geddoe: We're not merchants.  We're mercenaries.
    
    Thomas: I see.  So, you're just passing through.  Well, I suppose people just
    don't know that this is a free trade area.
    Cecile: Have patience, Thomas.  As soon as word gets out, we'll be overrun with
    people.
    Geddoe: Sorry.  We didn't know the situation here.
    Martha: And here we were, getting all excited.  If you feel so bad, how about
    buying some of my lottery tickets?  Here.  Here.
    Ace: Hey.  Wait a minute!
    Queen: It's a pretty good idea.  I hope things improve for you.  Good luck as a
    master.  Protect this place well.
    Thomas: I will!
    Ace: If I know of someone who wants to set up a business, I'll tell them about
    this place.  But don't expect too much.
    Thomas: T-thank you very much!
    
    [As they leave]
    
    Aila: It may have been falling apart, but that castle had some nice character.
    Queen: They sure are having a tough time of it, though.
    Joker: That may be common land, but I doubt the Council will just let it go...
    Ace: By the way, Captain... Did you examine that record?
    Geddoe: What record?
    Ace: The mediator cited in their document shared your name.  Is there some
    relation?
    Geddoe: Beats me.
    Joker: By the way, where did Jacques go?
    Queen: I wonder...
    
    [Out at the ship]
    
    Jacques: Ah, the ocean...  ...... How beautiful...
    
    [Head towards Caleria, meet up with nasty boss]
    
    Ace: But that monster's going to give us a hard time going through here, you
    know.
    Aila: I'm not afraid.  How do we get to Caleria?
    Joker: That way.  We could take the northerly route, but there's no need for
    that now.
    
    [Arrive to Caleria]
    
    Joker: It's been a long time since I've been in Caleria.
    Queen: We won't get any emergency summons or special missions here.
    Ace: What's the matter, Aila?
    Aila: Phew....  This place... smells.
    Ace: ......  What can I say?  That's the smell of humanity.  People smell when
    packed together.  There are a lot of different aromas here.  Let's stop at
    headquarters first.  I can finally get rid of this huge file.
    Jacques: Headquarters?
    Ace: Yes.  Is this your first time?  Oh, that's right.  You were hired on by
    the captain out in the regions.  So, I guess you don't know this place yet.
    The building just beyond that wall is the headquarters of the Southern Frontier
    Defense Force.
    
    [Arrive at headquarters]
    
    Ace: Well, I've got the report, the supply request form, and Jacques' official
    enlistment form, as well.  I'll handle everything.
    Joker: All right.  We'll wait for you at the inn.
    Ace: I better not find you sauced to the gills later.
    Queen: Whatever you say.
    Ace: Carrot-eating veggie- head!
    Queen: What did you say?
    Ace: Oh, nothing.  I said nothing.  Right, everyone.  I'll see you all later.
    Joker: Let's head for the inn.
    Geddoe: Sounds good.
    
    [Head to the inn]
    
    Joker: Hey.  Are you listening, Jacques?
    Jacques: Mmm-hmm.
    Queen: So? How'd you like Harmonian cuisine?  It suits my palate better than
    spicy Zexen food.
    Aila: Huh?  Er... yeah... I guess.
    Queen: Hmph.
    
    [Another group of mercenaries arrives[
    
    Duke: Well, Geddoe.  It's been a while.
    Geddoe: Not long enough.
    Elaine: Huh?  What happened to that loudmouthed guy?  Is he dead?
    Joker: Don't be ridiculous!  He's fine.  Even if he is too gung-ho for my
    taste.
    Elaine: I see.  Then give him this message: Stop making empty passes at me!
    He's all talk, and I find that beneath me.
    Joker: The bastard....
    Queen: I'm sure Ace had a hard time coming to grips with who you really are.
    Elaine: Oh?  Are you jealous?
    Queen: Watch your mouth, wench!
    Duke: I take it you're here to play "Hunt for the True Rune" with everyone
    else?
    Geddoe: Hunt for the True Rune?
    Duke: Oh, didn't you know?  They sent out a notice.  That's why most of the
    defense units are back in town.  This time there's going to be some big prize
    money.  Everyone's pretty excited about it.
    Jacques: Hmmm.
    Duke: Oooh, the new guy's in town.  Too bad we're going to win this time
    around.  Not you.  It won't be like last time.  Let's settle it, one-and-for-
    all this time, Geddoe.  We'll see which team's the best of the defense units.
    Why stand around wasting time?
    Geddoe: We already know who's the best.
    Duke: What do you mean?  You were just lucky last time.  Oh, never mind.  You
    won't be sitting on your laurels much longer.  We'll settle this at the "Hunt
    for the True Rune" in Grassland.  Let's get out of here.
    Gau: Sure.
    Nicolas: Right.
    Duke: Hey.  That's enough, Elaine.
    Elaine: Oh, all right!  If you'll excuse us....  But don't forget to tell that
    creep not to send me any more letters through the army mail!
    Nicolas: Sorry, Geddoe.  Our leader's a sore loser.  But I agree with him that
    we'll take the next prize.  Don't get mad.  Bye now.
    Joker: To think we'd run into Duke and his crew just after arriving at Caleria.
    Queen: I know...
    Jacques: Mmm-hmm.
    Aila: Hmm.
    
    [Ace arrives to the inn]
    
    Ace: Hey, you'll never guess what I heard!  Big news!  There's this huge hunt
    for something called the "True Rune"!
    Queen: Oh, brother....
    
    Ace: So, there you have it.
    Joker: Hmmm.  Why would they start a hunt for the "True Fire Rune" at a time
    like this?
    Ace: I didn't hear much about it, but apparently, a punitive force from
    Harmonia is headed toward Grassland.  They're mowing down the grass.
    Aila: A Harmonian punitive force?
    Ace: It's strange.  Most of the time these are "tall tales."   But this time
    it's true.  I wish I knew why everyone wants the Fire Bringer, but with such
    great prize money, who cares?  It's lucky we're here.
    Queen: The number of enemies we'll face has risen along with the reward.
    Ace: Hmmm?  Why are you upset?
    Joker: Well, what should we do?
    Geddoe: If the story is true, we don't have to rush it.  It'll be some time
    before they get the punitive unit organized.  It's been a while since we've
    been back in Caleria.  We should take it easy for a while.
    Ace: But Captain!  The other teams will get a head start.
    Queen: I agree with the captain.  Grassland's no so bad, but it'll be much
    easier for me to bathe here than amongst a group of men.
    Joker: I agree.
    Ace:  Hey, wait a minute.
    Jacques: I'm going upstairs to get some sleep.
    Ace: H-hey, wait....  We should work.  Come on!
    Ace: Damn them.  Well?  What's the matter with you?
    Ace: I want... another one of those sodas I had.
    Ace: Oh, brother.
    
    End of Geddoe Chapter 1
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Thomas -  Chapter 1 [ChThomas1]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Thomas: Um, could this be it?  Yes.  It must be.  But why such a place?  Oh
    well, it's not our job to ask why.
    Cecile: Who goes there?
    Thomas: Huh?  You mean me?
    Cecile: Who else could I mean?
    Thomas: Oh, um... I'm Thomas.  And you?
    Cecile: I command the castle guards here.  We're expecting a new master today.
    Mr. Sebastian told me not to let anyone suspicious inside.
    Thomas: I, uh, look... suspicious?
    Cecile: Not my decision.  Sorry, but you'll have to leave now.
    Thomas: But...
    Cecile: Speak up!  But what?
    Thomas: I am the new master.  This IS Budehuc Castle, isn't it?
    Cecile: What?!  You're the master of the castle?!  I-I'm so sorry!
    Thomas: Oh, don't apologize.  It's okay.  How about showing me in?
    Cecile: Certainly, sir!  You said your name was Thomas, right?
    Thomas: Yes.  Nice to meet you.
    Cecile: Please follow me.  I think Mr. Sebastian is at the house.  I'll take
    you there.
    
    [Head into the castle]
    
    Cecile: Greetings, Mr. Sebastian.  The new master of the castle is here to meet
    you.  What the--?  He was with me a minute ago.
    
    [Sebastian comes down the stairs]
    
    Sebastian: ...
    Sebastian: Did I hear you right, Cecile?  You've met the new master?
    Cecile: Yes!
    Sebastian: Well, where did you put him, in the dungeon?  Hmm?  No, um, I mean...
    Cecile: He is here, sir!  Allow me to introduce Thomas, the castle's new
    master!
    Thomas: Uh, pleased to meet you.
    Sebastian: Huh!
    
    [They head to another room and all the servants come to meet Thomas]
    
    Sebastian: Hmm... Are you really the new master?
    Eike: His seal... is authentic.  Yes...
    Thomas: In case you need more proof, I brought along this letter.  I'm not very
    familiar with Zexen ways.
    Sebastian: Oh, I see.  Hmmm.  Uh huh.  This appears to be an authentic letter
    from the Council.  I trust you are who you say.  But....
    Thomas: But what?
    Sebastian: Oh, don't mind me.  It looks like introductions are in order all
    around.
    Thomas: I'd love to meet everyone.  After all, if we're all going to live
    together, we should know one another.  Can you gather everybody together?
    Cecile: Everyone?
    Thomas: Yes, unless there isn't enough room.
    Eike: ...
    Sebastian: On the contrary.  You're looking at everybody!
    Thomas: What?!  Th-This is everyone?!
    Muto: Juan's not here.
    Martha: I can't believe that kid!  I rushed over to meet him here.
    Thomas: But, Cecile, I thought you said you were the commander of the guards.
    Cecile: Quite right, sir.  That I am.
    Thomas: Are you the only guard here?
    Cecile: Aye, sir.  I am responsible for the welfare of this entire place!
    Thomas: So here stands the whole lot?  So be it.  It's a pleasure to make your
    acquaintance-all of you!  I'm Thomas, the new master of the castle.
    
    [A bit later, in the master's quarters]
    
    Sebastian: These are the master's quarters.  Please make yourself comfortable.
    Thomas: Thank you.
    Sebastian: We'll cover more details tomorrow, if that's good for you.
    Thomas: Perfect.  I appreciate your help, sir.
    Sebastian: Not at all, Master Thomas.  And you needn't call me "sir".  You're
    the master.  I'm merely your butler.
    Thomas: Sebastian it is then.
    Sebastian: If I may take my leave, there are matters that require my attention.
    Oh, and if I may be so bold, I'd appreciate it if you could keep things as tidy
    as I tried to make them today.  Since we no longer have maids, we must clean up
    after ourselves.
    Thomas: Of course.  That won't be a problem.
    Sebastian: Well, if you'll excuse me.
    Thomas: .... I feel so tired.  I sure hope I can handle this.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Thomas: Good morning, Mr. Sebastian.
    Sebastian: Good morning, master.  Remember, it's just Sebastian.
    Thomas: I forgot.  Sorry.  Now what is it that I'm expected to do here?  I've
    never had this position before.
    Sebastian: As I see it, you're in charge of making decisions which concern the
    castle and domain.
    Thomas: Oh, you mean solving its problems and straightening out issues and
    such?
    Sebastian: Uh, yes... you could say that.  First you must introduce yourself to
    the people of the castle.
    Thomas: Right.  Yes, that's what I'll do.
    
    [Go find Eike in the library]
    
    Thomas: Hello.
    Eike: ....
    Thomas: Uh, um... I can to say hello.
    Eike: ....
    Thomas: Ahem.  Errr.
    Eike: Oh, a thousand pardons, master!  Didn't mean any disrespect.  I was just
    lost in thought.
    Thomas: What were you thinking about?
    Eike: Aw shucks, now.... That's rather private.
    Thomas: You're right.  None of my business.  See you around.
    Eike: ....
    Thomas: Huh?  What was that?!  I hope I can handle this job!  I'm feeling
    really insecure.
    
    [Find Martha at the lottery booth]
    
    Martha: Oh, it's our master.  Welcome.  Well?  Would you like to buy a lottery
    ticket?
    Thomas: Uh, no, I'm just here to say hello.
    Martha: That's a very nice gesture.  I'm going to be in trouble if you don't
    work hard as our master.  Ever since our last master ran away three years ago,
    we've been without one, and the castle's been in turmoil.  Thanks to that, I
    hardly have any customers.  I have a business to run.  I'm really counting on
    you.
    Thomas: Uh, right.  Yes.
    Martha: So, would you like to buy a lottery ticket?
    Thomas: ...
    
    [Find Piccolo in his tent]
    
    Piccolo: Oh!  You're the new master of this place?  I'm the great sorcerer,
    Piccolo.  You can count on me to help you with any troubles.
    Thomas: Thank you.  I'm Thomas.  Pleased to meet you.  What kind of things can
    a sorcerer do?
    Piccolo: My particular specialty is fortune-telling!
    Thomas: Fortune-telling?  Is that some kind of magic?
    Piccolo: Hahahaha.
    
    [Talk to Cecile at the entrance]
    
    Cecile: Are you patrolling, Thomas?  No need, really.  I keep things safe
    around here.
    Thomas: I'm glad to hear that.  Who would attack the castle?
    Cecile: Anything from wolves to mountain bandits.
    Thomas: I heard this was considered part of the Grassland frontier.  Does
    anyone come here from Grassland?
    Cecile: Yes, all the time.
    Thomas: Are they sightseeing or what?
    Cecile: Some have relatives here.  Muto and Martha see theirs every now and
    then.
    Thomas: Oh, is that right?
    Cecile: No one pays much attention to the fact this is Zexen land.  Sebastian
    used to send Zexens away, but now things are slack.
    Thomas: Hmm.. I see.  I don't really know much about Grassland and Zexen.
    Cecile: Where are you from?
    Thomas: Oh.  I was born in the northern Outlands.
    Cecile: Then, what brought you here?
    Thomas: Well, that's a long story.
    
    [A flashback]
    
    Thomas: Uh, well... my mother told me to come here with this letter.
    Council Member: Oh, yes.  I remember something about that.  So, you finally
    made it, eh?
    Thomas: Uhhh...
    Council Member: Come to think of it, I know of a castle without a master.  What
    was the name of it?  Oh, never mind.  I'll think of it and make the
    arrangements.  I'll appoint you master of that castle.  You won't be any
    trouble there.
    Thomas: M-Master of a castle?
    Council Member: Once I finish the arrangements, could you leave Vinay del Zexay
    immediately?  It wouldn't be good for you to wander about here.
    Thomas: Uh, yes....  Sure.
    Council Member: Well, this gets rid of two problems at once.  How fortunate.
    Thomas: Oh....
    
    [Back to the present]
    
    Cecile: Long story, huh?  All masters have a history full of interesting
    stories.
    Thomas: Uh, right.... I guess so.
    Cecile: I have faith in you, Thomas.  I hope you become a great master.  All of
    us, including me, expect the best.
    Thomas: I'll try.  I really will.
    
    [Go find Juan]
    
    Juan: Huh?  Who are you?
    Thomas: Why, I'm Thomas, the new master here.
    Juan: A new master?  Again?
    Thomas: What do you mean, "again"?
    Juan: Since our original master ran away three years ago, there've been three
    more.  None lasted more than a month.
    Thomas: Really?  Why's that?
    Juan: Noble families send their second sons here to become master.  They don't
    have what it takes.  Doubt if you will, either.
    Thomas: Well, no...
    Juan: So, why are you here?
    Thomas: Well, I-I... uh...
    Juan: I knew it.  Well, I'm busy with my nap.  You think you could leave me
    alone?
    Thomas: What's your name?
    Juan: It's Juan.  Listen, I'm going to catch forty winks.  I'll see you later,
    if you're still the master.
    
    [Find Muto at the warehouse]
    
    Muto: Uh, good morning.  Um... Tom, was it?
    Thomas: It's Thomas.
    Muto: My blunder.  Okay, Thomas.  Here you see the warehouse.  What I lack in
    mental skills, I make up for in physical strength.
    Thomas: Oh.  What does Mr. Sebastian do?
    Muto: He cooks, mostly.  Our chef left, you see.  The butler's food does not
    please all, but I find it tasty.
    Thomas: Poor guy.  He's faced with many tasks.
    
    [Then find Sebastian in the hall]
    
    Sebastian: T-Thomas!
    Thomas: What's the matter, Mr. Sebastian?
    Sebastian: I'm terribly sorry.  I forgot to send a letter to the Knights.
    Thomas: Letter?
    Sebastian: Yes, sir.  The Council has to approve a change of castle master, and
    nothing can be finalized before the letter of approval has been sent to the
    Knights.  I completely forgot about it.
    Thomas: We just have to send the letter, right?
    Sebastian: Yes, sir.  We have to send a letter to Brass Castle, the
    headquarters of the Knights.  And, well...  we'd normally use a messenger, but
    we
    lack one at the moment.
    Thomas: That's perfectly all right.  I'll go myself.  Besides, there's not a
    lot for me to do here.
    Sebastian: That would be splendid, sir.  I'll prepare the letter now, if you
    don't mind waiting.
    
    [At the entrance]
    
    Cecile: So you need me to guide and accompany him to Brass Castle?
    Sebastian: Yes.  Take the safest route.
    Cecile: We'll try.  Stay close to me, Thomas.
    Thomas: Will we be in danger?
    Cecile: We're cutting through Grassland to get to Brass Castle.  Who knows?  We
    might encounter monsters, bandits, or even Curly Snails!  Do you have a sword?
    Thomas: Yes.  I've hardly ever used it.  It's not in great shape, either.
    Cecile: No matter.  My sword will protect us both.  That's why you need to stay
    close to me.
    Thomas: I'll remember that.
    Sebastian: Well, have a good trip!
    
    [Arrive at Brass Castle]
    
    Thomas: Wow, what an incredible castle....
    Cecile: It sure is.
    Thomas: I thought Vinay del Zexay was big, but this is incredible.  It's
    totally different from our castle.  This one looks like a real castle should.
    Cecile: I think our castle's wonderful, too.  We're all working hard to protect
    it, you know.
    Thomas: Oh, uh, right.  Say, do you know where I'm supposed to take this
    letter?
    Cecile: We'll figure it out.  Let's go inside.
    Thomas: Figure it out?  Haven't you ever been here before?
    Cecile: No.  This is my first time, too.  The last master never stayed long
    enough to merit my escort.
    Thomas: Oh... I see.
    
    [Go further in, and they nearly run into Leo]
    
    Thomas: Whoa...
    Leo: Oh, excuse me.  I am in a rush, as I am about to head into battle.  I
    apologize.
    Thomas: Uh, no... My apologies...
    Leo: I don't think I've seen you before.  New recruit?  No.  You don't seem the
    type...
    Cecile: I am Cecile, commander of the castle guards of Budehuc Castle.  We are
    here to submit a letter with respect to the succession of a new castle master.
    Leo: Bude... huc?  Never heard of it.  Well, if you have a letter, I suppose you
    should hand it to Salome.
    Thomas: Uh, yes.  To Mr. Salome?  I understand.  Um, what is your name?
    Leo: My name?  It's Leo.
    Cecile: What?!  You mean, Leo, as in Leo of the Six Mighty Knights?  Wow.  This
    is incredible.  Ooh!  Stay calm, stay calm!
    Leo: Now you're embarrassing me.  Well, I've got to rush off.  Excuse me.
    Thomas: Is he famous?
    Cecile: Yes.  Of course.  There's no one in Zexen who doesn't know the Six
    Knights: Chris, Salome, Leo, Roland, Borus and Percival.  Wow, that was
    incredible.  I'd only heard of his name before.  I'm so glad I came.
    Thomas: I see...
    
    [Go further in and run into Percival and Borus]
    
    Percival: what do you want to talk about, Borus?  Something on your mind?
    Borus: Yes, as a matter of fact, there is.
    Percival: That's a new one!  Fearless, reckless Borus-the man who doesn't even
    know the word "consequence" - is troubled?
    Borus: Don't tease me, Percival.
    Percival: Is it about Karaya Village?
    Borus: Yeah.
    Percival: Don't tell me you're...
    Borus: No, that's not it.  I'm not going back on the pledge I made to Lady
    Chris.  It's just that...
    Percival: Spit it out, man.
    Borus: It's not bad to be passionate, especially about your work.  It's a good
    trait for a knight.  We live and die by the sword.  But I went too far!  I let
    anger control me!
    Percival: I think I would've done the same thing if I'd heard about the Lizard
    Clan's surprise attack and Myriam and Lanchet's deaths.  I'd be furious!  Who
    wouldn't be?
    Borus: But when a knight starts to attack unarmed villagers, he's no longer a
    man.  He's an animal!
    Percival: .....
    
    Cecile: They look like they're talking about something pretty serious.
    Thomas: Too bad we can't hear what they're saying.
    Zexen Soldier: Mind telling me what you're doing here?
    Cecile: Uh, I-ah....
    Thomas: No harm meant.
    
    [Talk to Roland]
    
    Thomas: Umm, we'd like to see Sir Salome, please.
    Roland: He should be on the second floor, preparing for deployment.  He may be
    too busy to see you.
    Cecile: Deployment?  Is there going to be a war?
    Roland: Yes, with Grassland.  The treaty's been scrapped, thanks to a surprise
    attack by the Lizard Clan.
    Cecile: Lizard Clan....  I see....
    Roland: I must run along myself.  Excuse me.
    Thomas: A war with Grassland, huh?
    Cecile: The Lizard Clan never seemed that terrible to me.  They just look
    scary.  I'm surprised they'd attack without warning.
    
    [Go around and go upstairs and see Chris and Louis:
    
    Chris: We have to figure out a way to recover the injured.
    Louis: Our last battle seems like yesterday.
    Chris:  The council is getting more and more demanding.
    Cecile: T-That woman....  She's beautiful.  And a knight, even.  It's
    incredible.
    Thomas: She's Chris, right?
    Cecile: What?!  You know her?
    Thomas: Oh, no, no.  I just saw her lead a parade once in Vinay del Zexay.
    Cecile: Lady Chris is incredible!  They say that she can charge into battle,
    defeat the enemy and get out without any blood on her.  All without even
    breaking a sweat.  I adore her.
    Thomas: Come to think of it, I think I've heard people call her the "Silver
    Maiden".  Sounds like quite the lady.
    
    [Find Salome]
    
    Thomas: Could you help me?  I'm looking for a man named Salome.
    Salome: I am Salome.  What do you need?
    Thomas: My name's Thomas.  I was recently appointed the new master of Budehuc
    Castle.  I have this, uh....
    Salome: I've heard about you.  I imagine you have a letter for the knights,
    correct?
    Thomas: How do you know about me?
    Salome: I review every appointment order the Council makes.  The letter,
    please.
    Thomas: Sure.  Sure.  It's right here.
    
    [He hands the letter over, some time passes]
    
    Salome: Thank you.
    Thomas: No, no, thank you!  Is there anything else I must do?
    Salome: That is all.  Uh....  Who's your friend here?
    Cecile: I am Cecile, commander of the castle guards.
    Salome: Did you take up the position when the old commander passed away a few
    years ago?
    Cecile: That man was my father.
    Salome: So, you're Commander Brown's daughter, eh?  You can't just take his
    title; you have to be officially appointed.
    Cecile: I don't see why when my father...
    Thomas: Why can't I appoint her?  I'm now recognized as the master of the
    castle.  Don't I have that right?
    Salome: Let me think.... Normally, you'd have to submit an application to the
    Council and the Knights.  In extraordinary circumstances, the master of the
    castle may be allowed to make the appointment.  Very well.  I'll make all the
    arrangements on this end.
    Cecile: Whew!  That's a relief!  I can keep my position, then?
    Salome: You will be the official commander of the guards at Budehuc Castle.
    You will receive an appointment letter eventually.
    Cecile: Th-Thank you!
    Salome: Well, everything seems to be in order.  I must go now and deal with
    other matters.
    Thomas: Understood.  We are grateful for your assistance.
    
    [Outside the room]
    
    Thomas: everything seems okay.  Shall we go back, Cecile?
    Cecile: Sounds good to me!
    
    [As they are leaving]
    
    Cecile: Thomas?
    Thomas: Huh?  What is it?
    Cecile: Thomas, I owe you so much.  I promise you won't be sorry.  I'll defend
    the castle with my life.  Trust me.
    Thomas: Oh, uh... no problem.  Don't worry about it.
    Cecile: Now that I've been appointed by you, I'm the real commander of the
    guards, right?  I promise you'll have my best.
    Thomas: Umm, okay.  Thanks.  Shall we go now?
    Cecile: Yes, sir!!
    
    [Return to the castle]
    
    Cecile: We're back, Budehuc Castle!  Home sweet home.  Commander of the guard
    Cecile reporting for duty, sir!
    Thomas: Going back to gatekeep-I mean, castle guarding-so soon?
    Cecile: Yes I am!
    Thomas: I don't have your energy, I'm afraid.  I'm going to my room to rest my
    weary bones.
    
    [Inside the castle]
    
    Thomas: Huh?  Isn't he here?  Mr. Sebastian!  Mr. Sebastian!  Where are you?!
    Where could he have gone?  Oh, well.  I guess I'll just go and get some rest.
    I believe my room was this way...
    
    [In Thomas' room]
    
    Thomas: ...I'm beat...  Does this mean I'm the true master of the castle now?  I
    hope all is as it should be.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Thomas: Whoa... I didn't see Mr. Sebastian this morning either.
    
    [Go outside and find Sebastian]
    
    Villager: Are you listening to me?  I'd like to speak to the master!
    Sebastian: Uh, yes.  Of course.  Right away.  Ah!  Thomas.  Excellent.
    Thomas: What's going on, Mr. Sebastian?
    Sebastian: Uh, yes, well... Apparently this woman's child has been missing since
    last night.  Even I have joined the search.  But he's nowhere to be found.
    Villager: Are you the master of the castle?!
    Thomas: Uh, yes.  I'm Thomas, the master of this castle.  Pleased to meet you.
    Villager: Thomas, is it?  Right, nice to meet you.  Anyway, my child has been
    gone since last night.  I thought perhaps he had come to the castle, since he
    so enjoys playing here.
    Sebastian: But I've looks all over the grounds without success.
    Villager: Please, Master.  I would be so grateful if you could use your
    soldiers to find my son... to find Thomas.
    Thomas: His name is Thomas too?  I'd love to help, but we don't really have any
    soldiers...
    
    [Everyone gets gathered up]
    
    Thomas: So we'll all have to do our part to help look for him.  Can I count on
    everyone here?
    Cecile: There are all kinds of places around here that need to be repaired, so
    he might have fallen in somewhere.
    Sebastian: Uh, right, of course.  I know that.  But the money...
    Martha: It's true.  The way things are at this castle, I'm making no money at
    all!  Someone really ought to do something about it.
    Piccolo: Hohohohohoho...
    Thomas: Can we talk about that later?  First, let's see if we can find Thomas...
    Cecile: We'll find him!  I stake my title and reputation on it!
    Piccolo: Hohohoho... It's not like I've got customers coming.  I might as well
    go
    along.
    Martha: I'll ask around.  Maybe one of my friends has heard something.
    Sebastian: And I-I'll try the village nearby for more clues.
    Muto: Uh, um... I have a question.
    Thomas: What is it?
    Muto: Haven't we already found you?
    Thomas: Oh, I meant-
    
    [Some time passes]
    
    Cecile: Anyway, let's start by looking inside the castle.
    Piccolo: Yes.  There are plenty of nooks and crannies to go around.
    
    [Head to the ship crash]
    
    Thomas: You know, there's something I've been meaning to ask.  What's with that
    ship?
    Cecile: Oh, that.  A storm sent it crashing in here one day.  You could hear it
    being wrecked miles away.
    Piccolo: The captain and crew ran away.  No idea who owned it.  It was probably
    used for smuggling.
    Thomas: But we can't leave it like that.
    Piccolo: Well, it's seriously damaged.  Can't sail it anymore, if that's what
    you were thinking.
    Cecile: Why not leave it as a landmark?  No other castle has anything remotely
    like it.
    Thomas: I should think not.
    
    [Head to the broken elevator]
    
    Thomas: What's behind this door?
    Cecile: Apparently, they call this an "elevator."
    Thomas: "Elevator"?  What's that?
    Cecile: In the old days, a great inventor from the south named Adlai installed
    it.  It's like a room that moves up and down.  It's an easy way to get up to
    the second floor.  After a while, it stopped working.  When I was a kid, I'd
    ride in it for hours.
    Thomas: Too bad it's broken.
    Piccolo: This place has seen better days.
    Cecile: True, but it still has a certain charm... and good memories.
    Piccolo I didn't say I hated it, you know.  Hohoho.
    
    [Head to the library]
    
    Thomas: That reminds me.  Who was the man in the library?  Could the boy be
    with him somewhere?
    Cecile: I went to tell both Eike and Juan that you were calling, but I couldn't
    find them anywhere.  That's no surprise when it comes to Juan, mind you.
    Thomas: Let's hope they're not missing too.
    Piccolo: Hohohohohohoho....
    
    [Find Juan]
    
    Cecile: Hey, Juan!  There you are!  Where'd you go?  Thomas summoned everyone,
    but I couldn't find you or Eike.
    Juan: What's everybody so uptight about?  I was just out training, that's all.
    Cecile: By training, you mean you went for a walk?  Come on, a boy from the
    village of Nor has gone missing, and we're forming a search party.  Are you
    with us, Juan?
    Juan: Aw, it's probably nothing.  It's not unusual for a child to disappear
    from home for 2 or 3 days.  I was like that once.
    Cecile: He's probably nothing like you.
    Juan: Did you say the village of Nor?  Was it a kid named Thomas who
    disappeared?
    Cecile: Huh?!  Do you know anything about it?!
    Juan: Uh, yeah.  In a way.  You could probably find him at Hei-Tou Mountain.
    Cecile: Huh?  How do you know that?
    Juan: Oh, I was taking an afternoon nap at Nor Village, and this Thomas kid
    came around.  I told him how I once slew a tiger at Hei-Tou Mountain.  All of a
    sudden, he got really excited and ran off.  I thought he left because it was
    lunchtime.
    Cecile: Oh, my.  We'd better leave right away!
    Juan: I guess I'm partly responsible for this, so I'll go along with you this
    one time.  Just this time.
    Thomas: Let's get going.  Now!
    
    [At the entrance]
    
    Martha: Now, now... Have you made all your preparations?  Leave the castle to
    me.
    You go on.
    Thomas: All right.  I'm counting on you.
    Muto: Don't you worry.  I'll clean your room for you.
    Thomas: Uh, thank you.
    Juan: Now, let's get going.  Let's just find him and get back here.
    Thomas: Right.  Let's go.
    
    [Arrive at Mt. Hei-Tou]
    
    Cecile: I'm right by your side, Thomas.  I'll protect you from everything-
    tigers, monsters, bears... Don't worry about a thing!
    Thomas: Will this place really be that dangerous?
    Piccolo: Hohohohoho... The great fortuneteller Piccolo is here with you.  You
    need not worry.
    Juan: Sounds like you don't need my help with these two around.  I'll just do
    what I have to, then leave.
    
    [Find the boy]
    
    Cecile: Ah!  What?!
    Boy: Whaaaaaa....!
    Juan: Oh, boy.  That boar looks pretty upset.
    
    [Juan runs and kicks it]
    
    Juan: Come on.  Over here.  Over here.  I'll deal with you.
    Cecile: I'll deal with it!
    Thomas: Uh.....  I'll help!
    
    [Kill the boar]
    
    Cecile: All right!  We won!  We won!  Yay!
    Boy: Whaaaa...!
    Juan: Sorry if I scared you.  You okay?
    Boy: I was really scared.  Really scared!  I got so lost....
    Juan: I shouldn't have told you that strange story.
    Thomas: I'm glad we found you.  Time to go home!
    Piccolo: Hohohoho...
    
    [Arrive home]
    
    Boy: Mommy!
    Villager: Oh!  Thomas!  Thank goodness you're safe, my little man!
    Cecile: It was a lucky day!  A happy ending!  My favorite kind.
    Villager: Thank you so much.  I owe you a lot.
    Thomas: Uh, well...
    Villager: Thomas.  What do you say to these nice people?  Don't be shy.  Did
    you know the castle master's name is Thomas too?
    Boy: Really?  Your name is Thomas?  That's my name too!
    Thomas: That's right.  I'm glad you're safe and sound.  Your mother was so
    worried...
    Boy: I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to cause so much trouble.
    Villager: I am so grateful to you.
    Boy: You're the master of the castle here?
    Thomas: That's right.  Now, run along home with your mother.  It's time both of
    you got a good night's sleep.
    Villager: Say thank you, Thomas.  I want you to grow up to be just as great as
    Thomas the castle master.
    Boy: O-Okay...
    
    Villager: Well, then.  Please excuse us.  I really appreciate what you did for
    us.
    Thomas: Take care going home.
    Villager: Thank you.
    
    The boy and his mom leave]
    
    Cecile: What a relief, huh, Thomas?
    Piccolo: Most auspicious, indeed!
    Thomas: I can rest a lot easier now, for sure. So they want him to be as
    "great" as me, eh?  Pretty neat.
    
    [Time passes]
    
    Thomas: Ho hum.  What can I do today?  I haven't really done anything this
    whole last week.
    
    [Go talk to Martha]
    
    Martha: What's happening?  I don't feel very good.
    Thomas: What's the problem?
    Martha: I'm kind of depressed.  I haven't had any customers in weeks.  You've
    been master of the castle for a while now.  Can't you do something to help?
    Thomas: Gee, I would if I could.  Have you got any ideas?  What can I do?
    Martha: That's your job, not mine.  What's wrong with today's youth?  Kids
    today are so lazy!
    Thomas: I-I'm sorry.
    
    [Talk to Piccolo]
    
    Piccolo: Hohohooo... Sebastian?  Let me think.
    Thomas: I'd really like to find him.
    Piccolo: Let me use my fortune-telling skills.  Hmm....  No... I can't figure it
    out.
    Thomas: I see...
    Piccolo: What's wrong?  Something bothering you?
    Thomas: I just figured he'd know what I should be doing as a castle master.
    Piccolo: Hohohoooo...  Such initiative!  I wouldn't worry about it that much.
    Thomas: If you say so, sir.
    
    [Talk to Cecile]
    
    Cecile: Huh?  Mr. Sebastian?  I haven't seen him today.  Do you need him?
    Thomas: No, I'm just bored....  There's nothing for me to do here.
    Cecile: Would you like to do some combat training with me?  It'll get your
    heart pumping.
    Thomas: No thanks.  Maybe another time, okay?
    Cecile: I see.
    
    [Talk to Juan]
    
    Juan: Sebastian?  I don't know.
    Thomas: Don't you have any idea where he could be?  Juan?  Juan!
    Juan: Zzzzzzzzz....
    Thomas: Hmph.
    
    [Talk to Muto]
    
    Muto: Hello there.  Who?  Mr. Sebastian?  We had breakfast this morning, so he
    must have been around to fix it.  Do you need him?
    Thomas: It's nothing, really.  I was just hoping he'd give me something to do.
    Muto: Why not try something to look more like a castle master?  Ever tried
    growing a beard?
    Thomas: A beard?
    Muto: Yes.
    Thomas: Sounds itchy, but I'll give it some thought.
    
    [Finally find Sebastian]
    
    Thomas: Mr. Sebastian!
    Sebastian: Well, well, Thomas.  How are you doing today?
    Thomas: I have to talk to you.  Where have you been?  I was looking for you.
    Sebastian: Uh, well... I was, uh...
    Thomas: What's the matter?
    Sebastian: I'm very sorry.  The castle's treasury is almost empty.  I've been
    working on the books, but things just don't add up very nicely.  I've been
    selling some of the valuables-with permission, of course-but it still isn't
    helping.
    Thomas: So all this time, you've been working on the books?
    Sebastian: Yes, without much success.  Have you got any ideas?
    Thomas: Hmm... I guess if we don't have anything, we don't have anything.
    Sebastian: If we don't have anything, then we can't maintain the castle.  We'd
    run out of food, and that would be the end of it.  We'll have to let Muto, Juan
    and Cecile go.  We can't afford them.
    Thomas: Oh no!  You're going to send them away?
    Sebastian: Unless you have some other things that I can sell...
    Thomas: Uh, wait a minute, Mr. Sebastian.  Could you gather everyone in the
    courtyard?
    Sebastian: Uh, sure.
    
    [Everyone gets gathered]
    
    Thomas: Is everyone here?  I don't see Juan yet.
    Cecile: Typical.
    Thomas: Please hear me out, everyone.  We don't have enough money to maintain
    the castle.  We can't afford to fix all the leaks, cracks and rotten timbers!
    Not only that, but at this rate, we won't be able to pay help, and we'll soon
    run out of food, too.
    Muto: What?!
    Cecile: Oh no!  Just when I get my official title.
    Martha: What?!  Sebastian!  What have you done?!
    Sebastian: I'm very sorry about this.  I've tried my best to make ends meet.
    Thomas: We're not here to cast blame.  We have to put our heads together and
    come up with a solution to this problem.  Before now, I lived a normal life,
    where I got up in the morning, ate breakfast, worked, cleaned, and slept.
    Then, suddenly, I became the master of this castle, and I don't have a clue
    about what I'm supposed to do.  So, I'm asking you all to tell me what it is
    I'm supposed to do.  I beg you!
    Sebastian: Now, now.  The master of the castle shouldn't bow his head to the
    people.
    Cecile: I know!  I know!
    Thomas: What is it, Cecile?
    Cecile: When I was a child, this place was crammed with stores and colorful
    decorations.  People came here from all around to shop.  Money flowed freely
    and good times were had by all....  I think we should open up lots of stores
    here.
    Thomas: Open stores....  But how?  That takes money we don't have.
    Sebastian: That's not all.  We'd need permission from the Council for such a
    venture.  They'd never agree.
    Thomas: What do you mean?  I don't know very much about Zexen.
    Sebastian: The Zexen Federation began as an alliance of merchant guilds.  The
    Council, which is the highest government authority in Zexen, is made up of
    members chosen by the Master Guild, the most powerful merchant guild in the
    land.  The fussy Council has to approve every single store opening, and it
    takes hefty bribes to convince them.  How could we do that?
    Thomas: Hmm....  All right.  I understand.
    Sebastian: Do you see a solution, too?
    Thomas: Here's what we'll do.  Instead of opening business ourselves, we'll
    lease the land to people and let them open the stores.  We've got plenty of
    room.  They often did this in the northern Outlands, where I came from.
    Sebastian: W-What?!  We won't be able to get the approval of the Council.  How
    could we get away with it?
    Thomas: Our first priority is to keep food on the table.  We'll deal with the
    Council later.
    Muto: Well, then, will I be able to stay here?
    Thomas: Yes.  If everyone works together toward the same end, we can save the
    castle and everyone's jobs.
    Piccolo: Hohohoho....  Well said.  Splendid!
    Sebastian: Wait a minute, Thomas.  You can't make promises like that.  You
    don't know the Council!
    Martha: What's so important about the Council, when we're not even officially
    in Zexen territory?
    Thomas: Uh...
    Martha: You young folks don't know your history.  This land is jointly
    controlled by both Zexen and Grassland.  When I was young, things were peaceful
    between Zexen and Grassland.  This was an important landing for Grassland's
    pastoral people, and was open to Zexens, too.  That's why a Grasslander like me
    is allowed to do business here.  Is this making sense?
    Thomas: I-Is that true?
    Martha: Of course it is!  You should go look around in your room, Thomas.  I'm
    sure there's a record somewhere.
    Sebastian: I-I've never found such documents.
    
    [In Thomas' room]
    
    Thomas: Let's see....  Where would that record be?
    Cecile: Did you find it, Thomas?
    Thomas: No, not yet.  I just started looking for it.
    Muto: I'll help you.
    
    [Time passes as they all look around]
    
    Sebastian: Are you sure it's here?
    Martha: Stop muttering!  Just find it.
    
    [More time passes]
    
    Cecile: Not here.
    Martha: Do you think I'm making this up?  I remember everything, including
    every winning lottery number.  I know it's here!  Keep looking!
    Cecile: Uh, right!
    
    [More time passes]
    
    Thomas: Here!  This must be it!
    Martha: Yes, indeed!  You found it.
    Sebastian: Well, I'll be!  It says that the land around this castle is commonly
    held by both Zexen and Grassland.
    Thomas: Then I see no problem opening up tons of stores here!
    Cecile: Yay!  Yeah, yeah!
    Piccolo: Hohohoho...  Luck smiles upon us.  How fortunate!
    Sebastian: N-Not so fast, Thomas.
    
    [Later]
    
    Thomas: In any case, if people come here to start businesses, they will need a
    place to stay.  What nicer place than here?
    Cecile: Excellent.  I'm all for it!  This place looks like it was used that way
    before.  We won't have to do much work on it.
    Sebastian: Yes, it was used in the past as accommodation, but it's been vacant
    for many years.  If we leave it like this... And who would be in charge of the
    accommodations?
    Thomas: I was hoping I could call upon you, Mr. Sebastian.
    Sebastian: What?!  Me?!
    Thomas: Yes.  And starting tomorrow, I'd also like for you to serve the meals
    here.  This is where we'll all eat.
    Sebastian: Dear me!  The master of the castle is going to eat with everyone?
    Thomas: I don't think anyone would mind.  Besides, it's a lot more fun to eat
    with everyone than to eat alone.
    Sebastian: If it suits you, I'll agree.  Hmmm.  I'll be master of the lodge,
    then.
    Thomas: Oh, and one more favor from everyone, please.  Beginning immediately,
    this will be a free trading area-with nothing to do with Zexen or Grassland.
    Anyone out there can lease space for a business, so let's get the word out
    fast!
    Cecile: Yes!
    Muto: All right.
    Martha: All right.
    Piccolo: Hohohoho....
    Thomas: I will go around as well and find people who want to start businesses
    here.
    Cecile: Yes.  Let's do our best, Thomas!  I will defend this castle!
    Muto: Woof!
    
    [Time to recruit people, they will be detailed in the recruitment section]
    
    Thomas: ....There sure are a lot more people here now.
    Cecile: Yes, there are.  But... I feel like we're forgetting something.
    Thomas: Hm... I think we made all of the payments, so what could we have
    forgotten...?  Ehhh!  I'm too tired to think.  I'm going to bed early today.
    Cecile: Yes, it's been very busy lately.  You have to be careful not to get
    sick or anything.
    Thomas: Yes, you're right.  Thanks for your concern.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Cecile: Thomas!! Thomas!!  Thomas!  Hey, Thomas!
    Thomas: What's going on, Cecile?  Do you know how early it is?
    Cecile: W-Well... I just remembered!
    Thomas: Remembered?  What?
    Cecile: I have to show you.  Come on!
    
    [In the library]
    
    Thomas: So what's going on?
    Muto: Well, I kind of thought something was strange.
    Sebastian: I've been too busy to give it much thought, to be honest with you.
    Cecile: Me, too.  I didn't notice at all.
    Thomas: What do you mean...?
    Cecile: It's Eike!  Don't you see?  We haven't seen him in weeks!  We started
    talking about it, and none of us have seen him.
    Thomas: Eike... You mean from the library?
    Cecile: Yes!
    Thomas: Come to think of it, I only saw him on that first day we met.  Has he
    gone missing?
    Cecile: Missing or worse.  Where could he have gone?
    Thomas: All right.  I'll go and see if I can find him.  You all carry on with
    your work.
    Sebastian: We'd really appreciate that, Thomas.
    
    [Head towards the entrance]
    
    Thomas: But where could Eike have gone?  There are so many places in this
    castle that I don't know about.  And there are doors that won't even open.
    Shizu: Um, excuse me.  You must be Thomas, the master of the castle?
    Thomas: Uh, yes.  That's right.  Who might you be?
    Shizu: I'm sorry for my delay.  I am Shizu, the "elevator girl" who trained
    under Adlai, the great inventor of the south.  I received a request to repair
    the elevator here.  And that's why I have come.
    Thomas: Uh, nice to meet you.
    Shizu: If you have a moment, could you please show me where it is?
    Thomas: I'll be happy to walk you there.
    
    [Head to the foyer]
    
    Juan: What's this?  This door actually opens?
    Cecile: Apparently so.  Apparently, someone called her for repairs.
    Sebastian: Ahem... I did that.  Although it was very difficult to get in touch
    with her.
    Thomas: Um, so, will it work again?
    Shizu: Yes.  Not to worry.  It will be working tomorrow.  I'll finish it
    tonight.
    Cecile: Really?  I can't wait.
    Shizu: It's quite an old one you have.  I'd like to stay here for some time and
    maintain this elevator for you.
    
    [Shizu has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    Thomas: Uh, of course, if you like.  We would appreciate that.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Thomas: .... Another day of work...
    Cecile: T-Thomas!
    Sebastian: T-Thomas!
    Thomas: What's the matter?
    Sebastian: W-Well...
    
    [Chris shows up]
    
    Thomas: That's...
    Cecile: That's the commander of the Zexen Knights.  How amazing!  Who would've
    thought Lady Chris would come to our castle?
    Sebastian: What are you talking about?  This can only mean... This can only mean
    that our free trade area has become known to the Council!  Wh-What are you
    going to do, Thomas...?  The commander of the Zexen Knights herself has come
    here.  How will we get out of this one?
    Cecile: I guess they found out about it right away.  That's our Zexen Knights
    for you.
    Thomas: I'm not afraid.  I'll simply explain the way it is.
    Sebastian: If anyone can sway them, it's you, sire.  I doubt if they'll execute
    you right away, if that's any consolation.
    Thomas: H-Hey... Don't scare me like that.
    
    Chris: What you're saying is that you're leasing land to businesses here
    without the approval of the Council.
    Thomas: Y-Yes.
    Sebastian: We had no alternative, madam.  Lease or lose, that's the gist of it.
    Silly us.  We promise to change if you insist, and whatever you do, could you
    avoid telling the Council?
    Chris: If you ask me, the Council has no place controlling businesses out here.
    What they don't know can't hurt them.  This Zexen land is in the middle of
    Grassland, after all.  I suggest you try not to stand out too much and bring
    the attention of the Council down on your heads.
    Thomas: Does this mean what I think it means?
    Chris: The Knights are not in a position to give approval.  But we can turn a
    blind eye.  Besides, the Council has made things difficult for me as it is.  I
    don't see why we should tell them about this.
    Cecile: Most noble and gracious lady, we thank you!  I am Cecile, the commander
    of this castle's guards!  Just as your protect Zexen, I will protect this
    castle!
    Chris: I see.  This is a good castle.  It seems a little rundown, but I can see
    that it is very important to all of you.
    Thomas: It's all we've got!  We're trying to make things better.
    Sebastian: Whew!  For a moment there I thought I'd drown in my own sweat!
    
    [At the entrance]
    
    Thomas: Whew!  Just as Sebastian said, I think I lost ten years of my life.
    Cecile: But, thank goodness you weren't executed on the spot.  I was all ready
    to fight them off.
    Thomas: Hahahaha....  But that Lady Chris sure is incredible, isn't she?  It's
    not that she's scary....  How can I put it?  I guess it's too complicated to
    explain.
    Sebastian: I guess even the most noted heroes suffer hardships like the rest of
    us.  I suppose she sympathizes.
    Thomas: I suppose.
    San: It's not like we haven't suffered our share.  At least we still have bread
    to eat.  Which reminds me, I'd better bake some for tomorrow!
    Thomas: Uh... I suppose.
    
    [Head back to the foyer]
    
    Thomas: Shizu, does it work now?
    Shizu: Yes.  Everything checks out fine.  It's cleaned and oiled to perfection.
    Cecile: Can we ride it?
    Shizu: Yes.  This will be our test run.  Welcome aboard.
    
    [They all get on]
    
    Shizu: Budehuc Castle, 2nd floor.  Home to the master's quarters, the library,
    and the hall of statues.
    Cecile: Wow!  Amazing!
    Thomas: Right to the second floor, just like that?  I like elevators!
    Shizu: And onto the next floor...
    
    [They all get in again]
    
    Shizu: Budehuc Castle, 1st floor.  The grand lobby, dining room, and great
    hall.
    Juan: Hey!  This is back where we started.
    Shizu: We try to stop at every floor.  If no one wants off here, we'll move on
    to the next floor.
    
    [They all get on again]
    
    Shizu: Budehuc Castle, basement level.  The warehouse is located here.  You can
    also get to the ship from here.
    Sebastian: This makes it a lot easier to bring goods into the castle.
    Shizu: Don't exceed the weight limit.  This is one of the first elevators ever
    built.  The design hasn't been perfected yet.
    Sebastian: Oh!
    Shizu: Now, on to the next floor.
    
    [They all get on again]
    
    Shizu: Budehuc Castle, basement 2nd level.  Here you'll find the vault and old
    dungeons.
    Piccolo: Hohohoho... My legs start to give out with age.  It's been a long time
    since I've been down here.
    Cecile: This is incredible, Shizu.  It's just like when I was a kid.
    Shizu: It seems the elevator here is quite happy to be working again, too.
    Thomas: That's right.  It always looked so sad to me before.
    Shizu: To me as well.  Well, let's go on to the next floor.
    Juan: Huh?  The next floor?
    
    [They all get on again]
    
    Shizu: This is the bottom floor.
    Cecile: Huh?  What is this place?
    Sebastian: I-I haven't the slightest idea.
    Juan: I never knew this place existed!
    Thomas: I found many new places in this castle while I was looking for Eike,
    but I never dreamt of looking here.
    Cecile: Then, maybe somewhere deep in here....
    Sebastian: T-That's right!  Maybe Eike is somewhere in this place!
    Thomas: Yes... maybe.  I think we ought to at least check it out.
    Piccolo: Hohohoho....  Well, let's go, then.
    Juan: Oh, why not?  I did come here to see something unusual, so I might as
    well go along.
    
    [Head further in]
    
    Cecile: There's a fork in the corridor.
    Thomas: Sure is... Hmmm.  How about we take the one on the right first?
    Juan: Let's just make this quick.  We can check them both out by splitting into
    two groups.  You and Cecile go that way, and me and the old man will check out
    the other.
    Thomas: Uh, but...
    Juan: I just want to get this over with.  Come on.  Let's go, old man.
    Piccolo: Hohohoho...  Stop calling me "old man".  I am the great fortune-teller.
    Juan: I don't care how great you are.  Let's just go.
    Cecile: Fine with me.  This way then.
    Sebastian: There's nothing to be worried about, Thomas.  I-I will go along with
    you.  I'll be right behind you.
    Thomas: I'm game.  Here we go!
    
    [Head further in]
    
    Thomas: We've come to an open space.
    Cecile: Shh!  Be quiet, Thomas.  Look over there.
    Sebastian: Wh-Who could be hiding in such a place?
    Cecile: Hard to believe anyone would.
    Sebastian: Perhaps Eike has been kidnapped and is being held for random?  D-
    Dear me!  Another cost we don't need.
    Thomas: W-Well, I don't know about that.
    Cecile: Come on, Thomas!  We'll charge 'em!
    Thomas: W-Wait a minute...
    Cecile: Don't worry!  Hi-yaa!
    
    [She runs smack into Juan and Piccolo]
    
    Cecile: Uh, huh?
    Juan: Cecile!  What are you trying to do?!
    Thomas: Juan and Mr. Piccolo!
    Piccolo: What do you know?  Both corridors converge here.  Ho ho!
    Thomas: ...
    
    [Further in]
    
    Cecile: Hey!  W-what's that sound?
    Juan: Cecile, try to control your charging instincts, will you?
    Cecile: Oh, all right.  I'm sorry I was wrong before.
    Thomas: Anyway, let's go in.
    Sebastian: A-Are you sure this is safe?  There could be some double-headed
    serpent down here that's really, really hungry.
    Juan: Only one way to find out!
    
    [Further in, Eike is sitting there reading]
    
    Cecile: Eike!
    Eike: Well, I see everyone's all here.  Have you come to read as well?
    Cecile: What are you talking about?  You've been gone for weeks now.  We were
    worried so we came looking for you.
    Eike: Oh, bother!  Didn't mean to put you on alert.  I lose track of time when
    I'm down here.
    Thomas: Well, thank goodness you're all right.  Do you come here often just to
    read?
    Eike: Yes.  It's quiet and cool down here.  Most importantly, kids don't come
    around much.  Taking the time to read books is my favorite thing.  I've got to
    get back now, but please feel free to use this space anytime.
    
    [He leaves]
    
    Juan: Pfft...That guy is weird.
    Cecile: But I'm sure glad that he's okay.  Besides, now we've solved the
    mystery of his occasional disappearances.
    Thomas: That's right.  Well, I suppose we should get going.
    Sebastian: Uh, um... Thomas?
    Thomas: What is it, Mr. Sebastian?
    Sebastian: Don't you wonder how he got down here in the first place?
    
    End of Thomas Chapter 1
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Chris - Chapter 2 [ChChris2]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [In Chris' home]
    
    Chris: I leave you in charge here while I'm gone.
    Butler: Certainly, Lady Chris.
    Chris: I'm sorry I haven't been back here much.
    Butler: No need for concern.  Your father was the same.  I'm accustomed to it.
    You're busy.
    Chris: My dear father's...
    
    [At the gates of Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Louis: Good morning, Lady Chris.  Are we leaving now?
    Borus: We've been ordered to return directly to the front.  I hate this.
    Chris: Never mind, Borus.  Let's hurry back to the Brass Castle.
    Borus: Last one there's a rotten Grassie.
    
    [In Brass Castle]
    
    Borus: Ah, finally!  Time to unwind.  As you recall, I was forbidden to have
    even a single drink last night.
    Chris: You'd better check again with Salome before you indulge.  He disapproves
    of drinking before battle.
    Borus: Oh, yeah.  That again.
    Louis: I'll mind the horses.
    Borus: Thanks.
    Chris: Thank you, Louis.
    Borus: Are we leaving to take on the Lizard Clan immediately?
    Chris: Against my better judgment...  Alas, we knights have our duties.
    Borus: You don't sound too happy about it.
    Chris: No...
    
    [Go find Salome]
    
    Salome: Aha!  You return early.  I didn't expect you so soon.
    Percival: Now, now, Lord Salome.  You were only too anxious to have them back.
    Salome: P-Percival.
    Percival: Ha, ha, ha.  Your speedy return can only mean one thing: a new
    assignment.
    Chris: That's right.  Where are Leo and Roland?
    Salome: They went out for a long ride.  They said they needed some exercise.
    Borus: I think "they" really means "Leo."  Ha!
    Salome: They should be back for supper.  Could we have a talk then?
    Chris: I don't see why not.  I've been very busy lately.  I could use a short
    break.
    Salome: I'll have the attendant bring you hot water.  Relax and refresh
    yourself before we dine.
    Chris: I'll do that.  Thanks.
    
    [In Chris' room]
    
    Louis: Lord Salome has asked me to bring you hot water, Lady Chris.  I will as
    soon as it's ready.  Meanwhile, lie down and relax.
    Chris: I will.  And thanks, Louis.
    Louis: Yes, milady.  You must be exhausted after such travel.  Guess what?
    Lord Salome and Percival are cooking tonight.
    Chris: Really?
    Louis: They're very excited about it.
    Chris: I can't imagine them cooking.
    Louis: Me neither.
    Chris: Hah!  This should be good.
    
    [At dinner]
    
    Percival: I hope you found our culinary creation enjoyable.
    Borus: I'd expect such talents from you, Percival, but I had no idea Lord
    Salome could cook.
    Salome: My family has always enjoyed preparing food.
    Leo: It was a little bland, though.
    Percival: Well, next time I'll make yours good and spicy.  Was there enough?
    Leo: Plenty.  It was fine.
    Percival: We made extra just for you.
    Chris: I've certainly enjoyed everything from the food to the company.  I'm
    grateful for all your hard work, gentlemen.
    Percival: You honor us.  I'm thrilled you liked it.
    Louis: He-he.
    Chris: Let's get down to business.  I would like to hear your opinions.
    
    [They all sit down]
    
    Chris: We have new orders from the Zexen Council.
    Roland: And these are?
    Chris: To subjugate the Lizard Clan.
    Roland: Conquer the Great Hollow?  That is not a pleasant task.
    Leo: I don't mind giving those scaly creeps a hard time, but to crush them,
    we'd need at least two months to prepare.
    Chris: I can't see the Council wanting to actually destroy them.  I think it's
    a matter of saving face and retaining the upper hand.
    Percival: There'll be a new election of council members soon.  Perhaps some
    candidates are using this to increase their popularity.
    Borus: And we can retaliate for our last defeat.  We have to save face too!
    Leo: I completely agree.
    Percival: We weren't the only ones to lose friends and family in the last war.
    Louis: We'll avenge the deaths of Lord Myriam and Lord Lanchet.
    Roland: Hear, hear.
    Salome: Then we'll assume that this campaign is to put fear of the Zexen
    Federation and Knights into the Grasslanders' hearts.
    Chris: I suppose so.  Who here wants to combat the lizards in their caves?
    Roland: Not I, thanks.
    Percival: Wouldn't want to get lizard stains on our precious uniform, now,
    would we?
    Roland: Please, Percival.  Keep your human jokes to a minimum.  I don't find
    them amusing.
    Percival: Sure thing, Roland.  My mistake.
    Salome: The smartest move would be to open fire and finish before we reach the
    Great Hollow.  Do you concur?
    Borus: Agreed.
    Percival: Same here.
    Roland: You have my vote.
    Leo: I'm ready for some real action!  All I did last time was chase that Karaya
    kid.  When I reached the battleground, it was over.
    Chris: OK, that's enough.  Salome, how long will it take to get ready to leave?
    Salome: A few days at the most.
    Chris: Then we'll depart as soon as we're ready.  Let's do our best to be on
    our way!
    Louis: Er, Lady Chris, haven't you forgotten something?
    Chris: What is it, Louis?
    Louis: That you were formally appointed as the captain of the Knights.
    Leo: Ha, ha, ha!  I will teach you something, Louis.  The Council's approval
    does not determine the appointment of a captain.
    Louis: What do you mean?
    Borus: Louis, the captain is someone who we, as knights, can entrust our live
    to.  Nothing more, nothing less.
    Louis: Ah, I see.  Now I get it.
    Percival: Good.
    Leo: Now, let's toast with our captain to our new campaign.
    Salome: Splendid idea.  Let's do it.  Louis, how about...... a tall, frosty
    glass
    of milk for you?
    Louis: Awww... no fair!
    Percival: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...
    [The next day]
    
    Louis: ...Good... morning... milady.
    Chris: What is the matter, Louis?
    Louis: It's just last night's wine, Lady Chris.
    Chris: Let that be a lesson for you.  Percival sure had fun getting you drunk.0
    
    [Go find Salome]
    
    Salome: Is something wrong, milady?
    Chris: Not at all, Salome.  I'm feeling a little better, so I'm going to make
    my rounds.
    Salome: Please do take care.  By the way, have your finished your preparation
    for the battle, milady?
    Chris: Yes, I'm prepared.
    Salome: I will go ask our men to make haste in their preparations.  Is that all
    right?
    Chris: Please.  We must hurry.
    Salome: I see, my Lady.  It will be a difficult battle.
    Chris: Indeed.  Our complex relationship with the Lizard Clan makes matters
    complicated.
    
    [Outside]
    
    Chris: We will now follow through with our Zexen Council orders and attack the
    Lizard Clan of the Great Hollow!
    Salome: Revenge will be sweet.  Stay in battle formation.  We will prove that
    Zexens are a force to be reckoned with!
    Leo: They will be very disappointed.
    Zexen Knight: Yes!
    Chris: Let's move out!
    
    [They depart, battle begins]
    
    Salome: The Great Hollow will soon be in sight.  Proceed with caution!  Scouts
    report that the Karaya Clan is also assembled there.
    Chris: What of Borus and Percival?
    Zexen Knight: The latest message says they are in place, Captain!
    Chris: Spearhead formation.  Leo, take point.  Zexens - forward!
    Leo: You heard the Captain!
    Chris: Salome, I leave it to you to signal Borus and Percival.  I want the
    timing right.
    Salome: Yes, Captain.
    
    [One round passes]
    
    Lizard Fighter: !
    Lizard Fighter: Zexens!  Inform the whole clan now!
    Salome: It's seems we've been noticed.
    Chris: I prefer a straight fight, anyway.
    
    [Another round or two passes, more units appear]
    
    Lucia: For you, little girl, getting out of here alive will not be so simple!
    Leo: By your cowardly acts, our comrades are gone forever.  But now we will
    have retribution!
    
    [Another round, Borus and Percival show up]
    
    Percival: Follow me in!
    Borus: Barbarians, you will learn the strength of our knights!
    
    [Five units go down]
    
    Dupa: Withdraw!  Withdraw!
    Lucia: This... is too much...
    Chris: Follow me in!
    Louis: Hmm?  What is...
    Borus: The spoils of war.  That occasionally happens when they run away in a
    flurry.
    
    [After the battle]
    
    Borus: We're going on a lizard hunt!  Don't fall into their holes!
    Percival: Don't get too excited, Borus.
    Leo: Why not, Percival?  We should relish the chance to avenge Captain
    Galahad's death and get back at the barbarians for their deception!  I say
    there's plenty to get riled up about.
    Chris: Your point is taken, but today, our main goal is to demonstrate our
    power.  Don't get distracted and stray from the main battle group!
    Salome: Milady, I will take up position at the rear to observe the progress of
    the battle.  Please be careful.
    
    [Battle ensues as you head to the entrance of the Great Hollow]
    
    Borus: Is anyone in the Lizard Clan brave enough to challenge the Six Knights
    of Zexen?
    Shiba: I, Shiba of the Lizard Clan's fighter units, will challenge you!  You
    inferior hardheads know nothing of the honor of fighting.  Let me be the one to
    avenge the murder of our late chief!
    
    [A battle, you win]
    
    Shiba: As I feared, the Six Knights were too much for us!
    Salome: Events seem to be going well, Captain.
    Chris: Yes.  Let us hope it continues.
    Leo: Let's shove those barbarians back inside their grimy little holes!  Ready,
    Percival?
    Percival: Ready and willing.  Let's have at it.
    Chris: Let's not get carried away.  We're here to show them the dignity of
    Zexen, not to exterminate them.
    Lucia: Your actions have already overstepped those bounds.
    
    [Lucia, Dupa and more people come out]
    
    Lucia: It looks like the White Maiden of the Knights wants bloodshed.
    Leo: What?!
    Chris: Wait, Leo.  I wasn't expecting to meet the Karaya Clan Chief so soon
    after the treaty negotiations.  I admire your coming forward personally once
    more.
    Lucia: I couldn't resist seeing the pretty face of the Zexen Knight captain
    again.
    Chris: You have a treacherous tongue.
    Lucia: And you, White Maiden, come with the treacherous sword that took lives
    from my clan.  You hold that bloodied sword of yours even now!
    Chris: ..........
    Salome: If it's war you want...
    Lucia: Your type of "honorable" war?  Karayans do not think of a sneak-attack
    massacre as being war or honorable!
    Dupa: As my ancestors did before me, I, the new Lizard Clan Chief, take an oath
    of vengeance!
    Chris: The Zexen Knights will do their duty to protect their people!
    Messenger: Captain Lightfellow!  Lord Salome!
    Salome: What is it?
    Messenger: Sir!  The Harmonian army has reached eastern Grassland!  We must
    retreat!  Immediately!
    Borus: Exactly where did this message come from?
    Messenger: From Vinay del Zexay, sir!
    Salome: From the Council?  Inform the rest of our forces.  Quickly!
    
    [The Knights depart]
    
    Lucia: White Maiden, are you turning your back on your enemy?
    Chris: We must part, for now.  I await our next meeting.  And stop calling me
    that.  My name is Chris Lightfellow.  Until next time.
    
    [Back at Brass Castle]
    
    Salome: I implore you to let our men rest.  Someone must get more detailed
    information from Zexay.
    Chris: Salome, what are the Harmonians up to?
    Salome: I haven't any idea yet.  We only just heard from the Council.
    Chris: I see.
    Salome: Do no worry, milady.  Please rest.  You have been pushing yourself too
    much lately.
    Chris: I cannot rest.  Not until all of the men have returned safely to the
    castle.
    Salome: I understand, however...
    
    [Go outside and find Salome with a messenger]
    
    Salome: Are you sure?
    Zexen Soldier: Er, no, not really....
    Chris: What is it?
    Salome: Milady... I had them check the information the Council sent
    yesterday....
    Chris: Regarding the Harmonian invasion?
    Salome: Yes.  The Grassland invasion is real.  The Harmonian army hadn't made
    any moves for the last fifty years, but now.... And, uh...
    Chris: What?
    Salome: It looks like the Council knew about the invasion beforehand....
    Chris: How do you know?
    Salome: They sent back information so quickly after the Grassland invasion,
    they must have known about things all along.
    Chris: That's odd.  They usually never act in haste.
    Salome: That is exactly what I mean.  It might be that....
    Chris: You mean to say that our attack yesterday was used as bait for the
    Harmonian invasion?
    Salome: It would appear likely, milady.
    Chris: Those bastards!  How dare they use us like pawns?!
    Salome: Well, then, what will we do about it?
    Chris: I'll question the Council.  I won't put our men in needless danger!
    Salome: But, milady....
    
    [Chris storms off to prepare to go to Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Salome: Milady, please don't go yet.  I'm sure things will straighten
    themselves out, given time.  You must be exhausted from yesterday's combat.
    Chris: I must fulfills a captain's responsibility.  I am leaving, Louis.
    Louis: Y-yes, milady!
    Borus: Hold on!  As a guard, I will accompany you...
    Chris: Thanks, but I'll be OK.  I will be back soon.
    
    [In Zexen forest]
    
    Chris: Oh dear... I'm not... I don't feel well....
    Louis: Are you ill, madam?
    Chris: Probably not.  Maybe just hot.
    
    [Further in]
    
    Chris: What's happening to me?
    
    [Chris blacks out and falls off her horse]
    
    Louis: Milady!  Are you all right?
    
    [Later when she wakes up]
    
    Chris: ...What's going on?
    
    [A flashback]
    
    Chris: Where is daddy?  He promised me he'd be back today.  Why isn't he home
    yet?
    Butler: Lady Chris....
    Chris: Why isn't he here?  He IS coming back today, isn't he?
    Butler: Lord Wyatt has more business to attend to in the Grasslands today.
    Chris: Grasslands?
    
    [In Brass Castle]
    
    Chris: What?
    Louis: Lady Chris!  Wake up!  Milady, please!
    
    [She opens her eyes]
    
    Louis: Oh, thank the Goddess!  You're awake!
    Chris: What happened?
    Louis: You gave me quite a fright!  All of a sudden you fainted!  Lord Salome
    is right, milady.  You work too hard!  Please take some rest!
    Chris: Oh, Louis....
    Louis: Really, you took me by surprise, my Lady!  I didn't know what to do!
    Chris: Sorry, Louis.  And you, what are you doing here?
    Leo: Er.... Because....
    Borus: I have some urgent business with you, milady.
    Roland: I just came around to see how you were....
    Chris: Hmm....
    Percival: Hah!  They've been coming 'round to gawk at you lying there.  They
    say it's to check up on you.
    Borus: Percival!
    Percival: What's more, they almost bit my head off when I tried to take off
    your armor to make you comfortable.
    Leo: We weren't mad.  It's just that Percival shouldn't have been the one to do
    it.
    Roland: Precisely!
    Percival: See?
    Chris: Heh heh.  I appreciate all your efforts.  I don't see Salome.  Do you
    know where he is?
    Louis: Lord Salome went to Vinay del Zexay on your behalf.  He made certain he
    could carry out the task effectively, so do not fret.
    Chris: He's the one who worries!
    Leo: Well then, shall we excuse ourselves?
    Roland: Yes.  There is no point in staying here if Lady Chris doesn't need us.
    
    [Find Percival at the entrance]
    
    Percival: Milady, are you sure you are OK?
    Chris: Yes, quite.  I think all I needed was rest.  But I can't stay in bed
    forever.
    Percival: You look much better.  How about a ride to Iksay Village?
    Chris: Iksay?
    Percival: Yes, it's the time of the Harvest Festival.
    Chris: Right.  It would be nice to relax for a change.
    Percival: Absolutely!  But Borus says I have to keep myself from getting too
    carried away.
    Chris: Always a good plan.  Ha ha.
    Percival: I'll fetch your horse, then.
    
    [Arrive to Budehuc]
    
    Chris: Excuse me.  It seems we took a wrong turn.  Where are we?
    Cecile: You are where you're welcome!  You must have come here because you
    about our businesses.  Uh, are you one of the Zexen Knights?  Ahh!  Yes!
    You're Lady Chris!!
    Chris: I am.  But you still haven't told me the name of this place.
    Cecile: Uh, please wait a moment!  I-I will call Thomas right away!
    Chris: Uh, okay, but what do you call this place?
    
    [Cecile brings her to speak with Thomas]
    
    Sebastian: Wh-What are you going to do, Thomas...?  The commander of the Zexen
    Knights herself has come here.  How will we get out of this one?
    Cecile: I guess they found out about it right away.  That's our Zexen Knights
    for you.
    Thomas: I'm not afraid.  I'll simply explain the way it is.
    Thomas: Welcome. Yes.  Um....  Welcome to our Budehuc castle.
    Chris: So, this is Budehuc castle.  How surprising that there's a piece of
    Zexen even out here in Grassland!
    Thomas: Uh, well, yes...
    Cecile: Ahem.  Thomas....
    Thomas: Ah, yes...the explanation.  This land was made into common land by
    Grassland and Zexen through an old agreement.
    Chris: Common land?  Hm.  I've never heard of that before.
    Thomas: Uh, well, that's...
    Cecile: Go on, Thomas!
    Thomas: We had to do something to survive.  Please try to understand.  We were
    out of options, about to starve.  Our only possible source of revenue was to
    allow businesses to lease our land and open shops.  A-And since this is common
    land, only half of Zexen's laws apply.  We have a record of the agreement!
    Please understand!
    Chris: .... ?  What are you talking about?
    Thomas: Huh?
    
    [Time passes, Chris likely explains why she is there]
    
    Chris: What you're saying is that you're leasing land to businesses here
    without the approval of the Council.
    Thomas: Y-Yes.
    Sebastian: We had no alternative, madam.  Lease or lose, that's the gist of it.
    Silly us.  We promise to change if you insist, and whatever you do, could you
    avoid telling the Council?
    Chris: If you ask me, the Council has no place controlling businesses out here.
    What they don't know can't hurt them.  This Zexen land is in the middle of
    Grassland, after all.  I suggest you try not to stand out too much and bring
    the attention of the Council down on your heads.
    Thomas: Does this mean what I think it means?
    Chris: The Knights are not in a position to give approval.  But we can turn a
    blind eye.  Besides, the Council has made things difficult for me as it is.  I
    don't see why we should tell them about this.
    Cecile: Most noble and gracious lady, we thank you!  I am Cecile, the commander
    of this castle's guards!  Just as you protect Zexen, I will protect this
    castle!
    Chris: I see.  This is a good castle.  It seems a little rundown, but I can see
    that it is very important to all of you.
    Thomas: It's all we've got!  We're trying to make things better.
    Sebastian: Whew!  For a moment there I thought I'd drown in my own sweat!
    
    [Outside]
    
    Thomas: I thank you very much, Lady Chris.
    Chris: I'd like you to protect this castle, as well.
    Thomas: Of course!
    Chris: With your permission, I'd like to visit this place again in the future.
    I'm developing a fondness for this old castle and the sounds of water that
    surround it.  And if there are people in this area who want to do business, I
    can tell them about this place.
    Thomas: We'd be most honored if you'd be our guest, anytime!
    Cecile: Yes!  Please, feel free to visit anytime!
    
    [Go to Iksay]
    
    Percival: There, look!  This festival is a celebration of an abundant harvest
    and an expression of gratitude to the Goddess Sadie.
    Chris: You know a lot about it.  How so?
    Percival I should.  I was born here.
    Chris: Is that so?  I never knew that.
    Percival: Not much to tell, really.
    Villager: My, my.  If it isn't little Percy, from Main Street!  I mistook you
    for some VIP.
    Percival: !
    Percival: Hi!  How have you been, mum?
    Villager: How have you been, Percy, my baby?  You look so regal!  Who's this
    lady?  Is she you... Oh my!  She looks familiar....
    Percival: Er....
    
    [He walks over to Chris]
    
    Percival: I have to make the rounds and say hello to everyone.  You should try
    some sightseeing.  There are fields beyond the hills over there, and the breeze
    is very pleasant this time of year.  But do be careful.  If they find out who
    you are, you'll be mobbed.
    Chris: Thanks for the warning, Percy.
    Percival: Um, certainly, milady.
    
    [Chris and Percival separate, Chris heads to the back of the village]
    
    Chris: Ahhh....
    ?????: Careful about too much overt admiration of the view.  You might make the
    sun blush.
    Chris: Who's there?
    
    [A man walks up]
    
    Nash: Hang on there, missy.  I'm just someone sharing a scenic moment here.
    Mind my asking what was going through your mind just then?  I'm just a curious
    sort.  No harm meant.
    Chris: I am under no obligation to tell you.
    Nash: Of course not.  But you can choose to tell me.
    Chris: You're a big talker.
    Nash: Really?  Hmm.... I never thought myself to be.  My missus always say so,
    too, so it must be true.
    Chris: Missus?
    Nash: Yes.  I'm thirty-seven, you know, even though I look young.  You have my
    word: I am not trying to flirt with you.
    Chris: Flirt with me?  Ha ha.  That's funny.
    Nash: What's funny?
    Chris: Just the fact that only an idiot would flirt with the captain of the
    Zexen Knights.  But you're no idiot.  Tell me what you want.
    Nash: To be honest, I had an idea who you were.  I have been commissioned to
    investigate the conflict between the Grasslands and Zexen.  There are some
    rumors around, you know, and there's no smoke without fire.
    Chris: What investigation?  Why would you think to contact me here in this
    village?
    Nash: It was sheer luck.  I heard of a village festival, so I came.  Then, when
    I saw Zexen knights walking in front of me, I decided to take a chance.
    Chris: How did you know it was me?
    Nash: 'Cause I heard the new captain of the Zexen Knights was beautiful.
    Chris: You're small talking again.  But you should refrain from such talk.  It
    would maike my own men blush.  Except, maybe, for Percival.
    Nash: Well, Lady Chris, I have a favor to ask you.
    Chris: What was that?
    Nash: I had not expected they would get here so soon!
    
    [Last scene choose "Err... I see your point" instead]
    
    Chirs: Hmmm... Errr... I see your point.  My mind was at rest, truth be told.
    Just
    taking in the scenery.
    Nash: It's pretty sad when you think of it.  The sun sets every day, and we
    know this.  But how often do we take time to ever see it-and experience its
    beauty?  My missus gets fed up with me for "wasting the whole day just looking
    at things."  She says that's why I'll never amount to much in this world.
    Chris: Your missus?  [rest runs the same after this]
    
    [A bunch of Lizards are running towards Iksay]
    
    Chris: I am going back to the village!
    Nash: I'll go with you.  There's more we should talk about, and I also know how
    to handle a sword.
    
    [Go back to the village and find an attack being done]
    
    Chris: What's all this?!
    Nash: Here they come!
    
    [Battle ensues]
    
    Chris: Damn!  We're too outnumbered!
    Percival: Milady!
    Chris: Glad you're here, Percival!
    Percival: Good to see you too, milady.
    Nash: Here they come again!
    
    [Battle ensues]
    
    Nash: Phew!  That was tough!  It's been ages since I've fought in real combat.
    Percival: I had the villagers flee to the hills for the time being.  We'll
    delay them as long as we can, then retreat ourselves.
    Chris: Got it!
    
    [Head towards the back]
    
    Shiba: Hark!  Take a look at this!  The ironhead boss has come to greet us.
    The Holy Spirit is with us today!
    Chris: If you think you can defeat me, you are sorely mistaken.
    Percival: Our swords are unrivaled by those of any lizard barbarians.
    
    [Battle ensues]
    
    Shiba: You're a tough bunch, I must admit.
    Chris: You demonstrated the strength of the Lizard Clan's fighter units.
    
    [Choose "We must somehow find time to..."]
    
    Chris: We must somehow find time to...
    Nash: I'll be most useful here.  I suppose you are one of the Lizard Clan's
    fighting units?  Do you always fight without first identifying yourselves?
    Shiba: Ah, you must excuse me.  I am Shiba of the Lizard Clan's fighting units.
    I am here to battle the leader of the ironheads....  What?
    
    [They all ran away]
    
    Shiba: Bah!  We'll never forgive your deception!
    
    [Go further back]
    
    Percival: Luckily, many were able to escape.
    Nash: The Lizards were so busy ransacking the village they didn't even bother
    looking elsewhere.
    Chris: Let's get to the windmill!
    
    [Reach the windmill]
    
    Nash: Phew, could we rest for a bit?  I am out of breath.  I'm not used to all
    this exertion, you know.
    Percival: Milady, I have been wondering.  Who is this ruffian?
    Nash: Hmph!  I am....
    Chris: No time for introductions.
    Percival: Damn!
    
    [Dupa and Jimba arrive]
    
    Dupa: How surprising to run into you, "White Maiden."  I almost didn't believe
    my men when they reported you here.  How fortunate!
    Chris: I am Chris, neither a Zexen hero nor a "White Maiden," thank you.  I am
    just one of the Knights protecting Zexen.
    Jimba: Chris... Are you the real Chris Lightfellow?
    Chris: How do you know my name?  You... You look like a Karayan fighter.  Then,
    you can't be....
    Jimba: I know the name "Wyatt Lightfellow."
    Chris: Then you can tell me about the armor in your village... and the pentacle
    that a Karayan boy brought to my house!
    Jimba: The boy was following my instruction.  It was the promise I made.
    Chris: Promise?  Are you saying you killed my father?!
    Jimba: What if I did?  Are you going to avenge his death?
    Chris: If you did, then yes!  I'm willing to do so right now!
    Jimba: Suit yourself.  I'll handle this, if you don't mind, Dupa.
    Dupa: As you wish.
    
    [A duel commences, you win of course]
    
    Jimba: Enough!  You win!  Congratulations, Captain.  You deserve to lead the
    Zexen Knights!  Your father would be proud....
    Chris: Quiet!  Haven't you tried to humiliate me enough?
    Jimba: If you want to find out about your father, you must find the Flame
    Champion.
    Chris: Stay back!
    Jimba: Damn!  I thought I could catch her off guard.  She was too much for me,
    Dupa.
    Dupa: We can't leave things like this!
    Lizard Fighter: Chief Dupa!
    Dupa: What is it?
    Lizard Fighter: Th-the Zexen Knights have...
    Dupa: What?
    
    [The others arrive]
    
    Dupa: They look small in number, but there may be reinforcements.  Retreat!
    Retreat, everyone!
    Lizard Fighter: Yes, sir!
    Dupa: Woman, you have the devil's luck.  Bad spirits seem to fight at your
    side.
    Jimba: Damn!  So be it.  I expect to see you again, "White Maiden."  An honor
    to have met you, madam.
    Chris: Ho-hold it...
    
    [They all leave and the others rejoin Chris]
    
    Roland: Milady, are you all right?
    Chris: I managed to survive, thanks.
    Borus: Percival!  Why on earth did you take her to this indecent place?
    Percival: Sorry, Borus.  I did not anticipate this happening.
    Chris: Borus, this is not an indecent place.
    Percival: Call it what you will, I care not.  But who was that man, milady?
    Chris: That man?  The one you probably thought fancied me?
    Leo: F-fancied?
    Borus: What does she mean, Percival?
    Percival: I... don't know.
    
    [As they go to exit the village]
    
    Roland: This is dreadful.
    Leo: It seems someone is out to avenge our bout with the Lizard Clan.
    Roland: And there will be no end to the vengeance.... They intend to keep us
    busy, I suppose.
    Percival: Let's get back to the castle.  There's no telling what the Council
    has in mind now.
    
    [They arrive back at Brass Castle]
    
    Percival: Everything seems to be normal here.
    Roland: Lord Salome should be back this evening.  I do hope the Council will
    leave us alone for a change.
    Louis: Well, I will prepare the hot water and your bed, milady.  You look
    tired.
    Chris: Do I really look tired, Louis?
    Louis: I meant nothing by it.  Let me just see to your room first, if you'll
    excuse me, my Lady.
    
    [Louis runs off, go find him]
    
    Louis: Would you like to rest for the night, milady?
    Chris: I think I will.
    Louis: I'll get ready immediately.  And I'll check that the water is still hot,
    too.
    
    [It is getting dark, Chris is thinking about things]
    
    Jimba: If you want to find out about your father, you must find the Flame
    Champion.
    Chris: Who is it?
    Salome: Salome, milady.  I've just returned.  Forgive me, milady.  I heard you
    ran into an attack at the Iksay Village.  They told me the details when I
    returned.  I am shocked!
    Chris: It shocked, me as well.  It was more than a coincidence.  What about the
    Council?
    Salome: That's the odd part.  They claimed no knowledge of the attack.  The
    Council is split on the proposal of allying with Harmonia.  But on the surface,
    they appear to be in total unity.
    Chris: That's the way merchants think.  Always trying to balance the scales.
    Salome: We need to choose our allies carefully.  It is difficult to distinguish
    friend and foe.
    Chris: Absolutely.
    Salome: I....
    Chris: Salome, in Iksay Village, I met someone who knew something about my
    father, Wyatt Lightfellow.
    Salome: Yes, milady.  Percival said as much.  I too have had the honor of your
    father's acquaintance.
    Chris: Salome, what shall I do?  The man told me that my father is dead, but in
    my heart, I do not believe him.  I must know the truth.
    Salome: It is unusual for milady to be so hesitant.  What is it?
    Chris: My job as captain does not allow me to forego the needs of my people to
    pursue my own selfish desires.
    Salome: Did you say selfish?  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
    Chris: What's so funny?
    Salome: Pardon me.  Milady is a little too hard on herself.
    Chris: Hard on myself?  Me?
    Salome: You must take some time for yourself, milady.  I've noticed how
    preoccupied you have been lately.
    Chris: Ohhhhhhhh.  Not you too!  Why is everyone....  I am just....
    Salome: We Zexen Knights all feel a sense of duty.  And we're here of our own
    accord, willing to sacrifice our lives for Zexen.  None of us thinks of this
    duty as our only driving force.  Each of us sees Zexen in our own unique light.
    For some, it's the land.  Others hold their families dear.  I'm sure you have
    your own feelings about Zexen.
    Chris: Salome....
    Salome: Milady, when you do not appear at breakfast tomorrow morning, I shall
    offer an explanation: In Vinay del Zexay, I used my contacts to gather
    information.  It seems something is about to happen.  Someone is plotting some
    kind of campaign.  Our brave captain, committed as ever, has set off on a
    mission to infiltrate the Grasslands and spy on their plans.  Well then,
    milady.  I must be going now.
    Chris: Preoccupied?  Hmmm....  He may be right.  But....
    
    [Head back to Chris' room]
    
    Chris: If my father is alive, or even if he's dead, I need to know for sure.
    And... I keep thinking about what he said...  the Flame Champion....
    
    [A noise can be heard, Chris investigates]
    
    Chris: what was that?  I thought I heard something.  It can't be....
    
    [A secret passage opens and Nash is there]
    
    Nash: It's open at last!  I was at a loss for what to do, you see.  I couldn't
    let myself into a lady's room without asking.  There was no answer to my
    knocks, either....
    Chris: How, how did you get in?
    Nash: You should seal a well that's dried up, milady.  You're telling the whole
    world to find the well if you keep it open like that.
    Chris: You're talking nonsense again....
    Nash: I always wanted to play the role of a knight who rescues a princess
    imprisoned in a tower.
    Chris: Princess?  No, no.  Not I.
    Nash: You're right.  You are a princess, but also a knight.  There goes my
    part.
    Chris: Would you shut up?!
    Nash: Hey, milady, you're journeying to Grasslands, aren't you?  To find the
    Flame Champion, of course.  I can be your guide.
    Chris: H-how did you know?
    Nash: Reading lips.  I learned it long ago.  I can tell what people are saying
    by watching their lips.  If you are coming, can you get ready right away?  You
    won't survive a second battle in that outfit in the Grasslands, you know.
    Chris: Who said I was coming?  I have a duty as a member of the Knights.
    Nash: Stop it.  You don't have to lie to me.  I am old enough and wise enough
    to read you like a book.
    Chris: Pardon me?!
    Nash: Stop arguing.  You are going, aren't you?  Well?  Don't you want to see
    the Grasslands with your own eyes?
    Chris: Grasslands?  With my own eyes?
    Nash: That's right.  I think you should see who your enemies are, too.
    Chris: You might be right.
    Nash: Sure I am!  Then, it's agreed.  Could you get ready quickly?
    Chris: Hey, don't rush me.
    
    [Chris goes and changes]
    
    Chris: Don't look this way.  Is this understood?
    Nash: I know.  Don't worry.  I may not look like it, but I'm a married man.
    You can trust me.
    Chris: Is that a fact?  If I ever catch you lying, I will draw my sword.
    Nash: You give me shivers.  You are a match for my missus.
    Chris: I bet your pardon?
    Nash: Oh, nothing.
    
    [She comes out in a new outfit]
    
    Chris: Will this do?
    Nash: Oh, my goodness!  I thought you looks good in your armor, but this is ore
    like it!
    Chris: I don't need your flattery.
    Nash: Flattery?  Oh, no, this is in earnest.  Unfortunately, I tend to be
    misunderstood.  My missus is greatly suspicious of me.
    Chris: Ha ha.  Good for her.  Well then, shall we?  You are going to show me
    the way, I take it?
    Nash: Sure.  First, we head to the Chisha Village, if you want to pursue the
    Flame Champion.  There is someone there who is associated with him.
    Chris: Chisha?  The Chisha Clan is one of the most conservative of the Six
    Clans.
    Nash: Yes, they're totally different from the barbaric Lizard Clans.  Let's get
    going.  Oops!  They might see us if we use the front gate.  Let's use the
    secret path.
    
    [Head into the secret passage]
    
    Chris: I'll have to have this path looked into.  It's much too accessible.
    Nash: I rather like the trusting attitude and tolerance it implies.
    Chris: A castle can't be open and tolerant, can it?
    
    [Outside Brass Castle]
    
    Nash: What is it?  Let's get going.
    Chris: Yes, I know.
    Nash: Don't worry.  This is not goodbye forever, you know.
    Chris: Of course.  This is where I belong, I suppose.
    
    [As they walk off the rest of the Six Knights look on them]
    
    Borus: Lord Salome, can we really depend on that joker?
    Salome: His swordsmanship is no joke, I assure you.
    Borus: I am not talking about that.  I mean our Lady Chris....
    Percival: If you are so concerned, Borus, why don't you just go with them?
    Borus: I'd love to, if I could.
    Roland: Lady Chris can take care of herself.  Let's just look forward to seeing
    her again.
    Leo: Agreed.
    Louis: By the way, Lord Salome, do you think he really is a married man?
    Salome: What?
    
    End of Chris Chapter 2
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Hugo - Chapter 2 [ChHugo2]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [Arrive at Duck Village]
    
    Sgt. Joe: I haven't been back in ages.
    Wilder: Sergeant!  Sergeant!  What fortuitous timing!  We need your help at
    once!
    Rhett: Nothing seems to please her!  We're at a total loss.  We need you,
    Sergeant!
    Hugo: ?
    Sgt. Joe: I've just arrived and already duty calls.
    Wilder: Please!  You're our best hope.  No time for delays.  Come quickly!
    
    [Go in and meet up with Lilly]
    
    Lilly: I'll ask once more, but don't make me ask again!  Where is the Flame
    Champion?  Will one of you answer me?!
    Duck: How should we know?
    Lilly: You must know something.  Yet for some reason you refuse to tell.  Why
    are you doing this?
    Duck: We can't tell what we don't know!
    Lilly: You just won't cooperate, will you?
    Rhett: .........
    Wilder: .........
    Hugo: Who is this "Flame Champion"?  Do you know, Sergeant?
    Sgt. Joe: Hmpf!  The things they don't teach kids these days!
    Lilly: Oh, look-he's not a duck.  Thank goodness.
    Lilly: Let me pass.  I've had enough of you birdbrains!
    
    [Lilly runs over to Hugo]
    
    Lilly: I thought there were only ducks here.  I'm glad I was wrong.  You are?
    Hugo: Who's asking?  Tell us who YOU are!
    Lilly: Me?  I am Lilly Pendragon, daughter of Gustaf, President of the Republic
    of Tinto.  Now your turn.  Your name?
    Hugo: I am Hugo, son of Lucia, Chief of the Karaya Clan.
    Lilly: "Karaya Clan"?  Never heard of it.
    Hugo: .........
    Lilly: Anyway, Hugo.  I have questions for you.  Tell me what you know of the-
    Reed: Milady!  We've obtained lodging!
    Lilly: Just when I was getting somewhere...
    Reed: My...lady... Thank you for... your patience.  Your things are in your
    room.
    Samus: However, milady, you may not be keen on the bed size or how close the
    water is.  Our options are limited here.
    Lilly: .........
    Samus: ?
    Reed: ?
    Lilly: You think me overly demanding?  Need I remind you that you asked what I
    wanted and I answered?  Right?
    Samus: .........
    Reed: .........
    Lilly: You two!  Fine, let's see.  Which way is it?  This way?  Ah, this way.
    Reed: Milady, wait!
    Sgt. Joe: What, or what, was that?
    Hugo: .........
    
    [Head to the inn]
    
    Lilly: Was there nothing better?  This room is too damp.
    Reed: Please understand, milady.
    Samus: Please!
    Sgt. Joe: Are you still busy complaining?
    Lilly: Oh, you.  What is it?  Ah, you want to finish that talk of ours.
    Hugo: Okay...
    Lilly: Fine then.  We might as well speak here, where we have some privacy.
    Sgt. Joe: Outside you were anxious to talk-
    Lilly: Did you say something to me?
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    
    [They go outside]
    
    Lilly: Why are we at the back door?
    Reed: Milady, this building is not our lodging.  Ours is farther removed... is
    that not more acceptable?
    Lilly: How far "removed"?  As far as a servant's quarters?  How... imaginative
    of
    you to think I would prefer such accommodations!
    
    [Hugo follows them to their lodgings]
    
    Lilly: Now then.  What do you want to discuss?
    Hugo: You wanted to talk about the Flame Champion.
    Lilly: I most certainly do!  If you know of the Flame Champion's whereabouts,
    you'll receive just compensation...
    Sgt. Joe: "The Flame Champion"?  The hero our grandfathers spoke of?  Didn't
    expect such a topic from the likes of you...
    Lilly: Yes, I speak of the Flame Champion, and of the Fire Bringer he led.
    They are very much alive, it seems.  Or so my information tells me.  I traveled
    all the way from Tinto to this odd place you call home to find out more.
    Sgt. Joe: Still alive?  The Flame Champion?  But... your mathematics have surely
    failed you.
    Hugo: Who is the Flame Champion?
    Sgt. Joe: Hmm?  Oh, that's right, few your age would know.  The Flame Champion
    is a hero from over 50 years ago who smashed the Harmonian forces invading
    Grassland at that time.
    Hugo: Harmonian forces?
    Sgt. Joe: Yes.  He led the Fire Bringer against the enemy.  Our clan was the
    first Grassland clan to become allies of the Fire Bringer.
    Hugo: Sounds to me like a real hero.  Even a great hero.
    Sgt. Joe: He truly was.  Then after the Harmonian war, he vanished without a
    trace.  This was all so long ago.  If he were still alive today, he wouldn't
    look like much of a warrior.
    Lilly: Ha-so you may think!  I believe differently.
    Sgt. Joe: Why is that?
    Lilly: It all started when bandits attacked one of our caravans.  One of those
    bandits turned out to be none other than one of the Fire Bringer.  The traders
    who were robbed returned to Tinto speaking of how one of the bandits resembled
    the Flame Champion.  Over and over, our caravans fell prey to these thieves.
    Eventually we learned that the leader of these bandits was called "Flame
    Champion" by his own men.  And that is obviously my motivation for coming here.
    Samus: Excuse me, milady.  I still don't understand why we made this long
    journey... to this place.
    Reed: That's right!  Your personal adventures will land you in trouble with our
    authorities again.
    Lilly: Don't you get it?  Every Tinto merchant is fed up with those cowards!
    You have to know how to handle them.
    Hugo: .........
    Sgt. Joe: What cowards?
    Lilly: Moving right along, since no further information can be had here, I've
    decided to go to the Lizard Clan.  I've heard of attacks there too.  But Reed
    and Samus are useless at navigating Grassland.  It took them ages just to get
    us here!  So how would you like to guide me to the Lizard Clan?  Naturally, I'm
    prepared to pay for your time.  About... 4000 potch?
    Hugo: All right.
    Lilly: Very good!  Now let's work out the details.
    Samus: First this place.  Now we're off to Lizardland.
    Reed: Grumble all you like, but this is our job.
    Lilly: I assume you know of the Lizard Clan's travel routes?
    Sgt. Joe: They use underground passages stretching who knows how far.  That
    method of travel has long been one of their biggest strengths.
    Lilly: Our scouts concur.  A major junction in their network seems to be a
    point under the western ruins.  Take me there.  Then introduce me to the Lizard
    Clan upon arrival.  I'll give you 2000 now plus 2000 when we reach the Lizard
    Clan safely.  Agreed?
    Hugo: Agreed.
    
    [Lilly pays the money]
    
    Sgt. Joe: These "attacks" involving the Lizard Clan could well be related to
    what we know.
    Lilly: Now that our plans are settled, prepare to depart.
    Hugo: ?!
    Reed: Milady!
    Samus: We've done nothing but hurry about for days, then scurry about like ants
    after arriving.  May we not stop for a night to rest properly?
    Lilly: Are you a man or a mouse?  You were taught to "strike while the iron is
    hot," correct?  Well?  Weren't you?
    Samus: .........
    Reed: Let us do as she wants, Samus.  It is simpler that way.
    Lilly: ?
    
    [Lilly, Samus and Reed join]
    
    Lilly: We'll leave immediately!
    Sgt. Joe: Do you know where you're going?
    Lilly: How should I know?  That is why I hired you!
    Sgt. Joe: Hope she was an only child.
    Hugo: .........
    
    [Head to the ancient highway]
    
    Sgt. Joe: I believe these are the ruins you spoke of.  Nowhere else fits the
    description.  I can't promise you'll find what you seek.
    Lilly: Not to worry.  The Tinto scouts must be right.  Leave it to me.
    
    [She walks further up]
    
    Lilly: Hmm... Not here...
    Reed: Milady!
    Samus: Milady!  Are you certain about this?
    Lilly: Impersonating statues, are you?  How about earning your keep!
    Reed: We didn't want to interrupt you!  Here we come, milady!
    
    [Samus and Reed run up to help her]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, what do you make of them?
    Hugo: They don't act like enemies.  But I'm not sure of their plans.
    Sgt. Joe: Quack, quack, quack!  Of course they're not our enemies.  But does it
    serve us to make them allies?
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    
    [A loud noise can be heard]
    
    Sgt Joe: ?
    
    [The door opens]
    
    Lilly: I told you.  Sergeant, Hugo!
    Reed: She... she found it!
    Samus: At least we had a few moments of rest.
    
    [They all go inside]
    
    Lilly: Alright, we're rested.  Let's move on.
    
    [Head towards the center to find four mysterious people]
    
    Sgt. Joe: The passage widens ahead.
    Hugo: Someone else is here!
    Lilly: Ssshhh!  Stay down.  We might learn something.
    
    Masked Man: So, the protection cannot be overcome...
    Woman: Thanks to Cyndar's ancient technique... or shall we call it their magic.
    Most impressive.
    Man in Black: Don't give up, even if you risk destroying it.
    
    Sgt. Joe: What do you make of that?
    Hugo: Hard to say.
    Lilly: Can't you see they're evil?
    Reed: Milady!  I believe it was you who said to keep silent.
    Lilly: I know what I said.
    Sgt. Joe: What makes you think they're evil?
    Lilly: That masked man.  He's definitely hiding something.  And just look at
    that other one all in black!
    Samus: What about him?
    Lilly: His face looks... untrustworthy!
    Samus: .........
    
    Man in Coat: Let's not be hasty.  We have plenty of other things to do in the
    meantime.
    Man in Black: This shouldn't be taking so long.  Let's just take what we need
    and go.
    Man in coat: That will get us nothing but chaos.  That is not what we want.
    Man in Black: Chaos would suit me just fine.
    Woman: ?
    Masked Man: Sarah, what's the matter?
    Sarah: Nothing.
    
    Lilly: That was close.  We were almost discovered.
    Sgt. Joe: Might that be because you keep yapping?!
    Lilly: What did you say to me?
    Reed: Why don't we just decide what we're going to do.  We can't hide here
    forever.
    Sgt. Joe: He's right.
    Hugo: Hmm, what's the best way...
    Lilly: The answer is obvious.
    Samus: ?
    Lilly: Frontal assault!
    Hugo: Hold on now!  We don't know anything about them.
    Sgt. Joe: I'm with the boy.
    Lilly: We already know what we need to know about them.
    Reed: We do?
    Lilly: That they're evil!  Hasn't anyone been listening to me!
    Sgt. Joe: Let's go, Hugo.
    Hugo: Right.
    Lilly: Stop!  How dare you leave in the middle of a conversation!
    
    Man in Coat: We shouldn't push our luck.  It could result in diminishing
    returns.
    Masked Man: Who would have thought it would take this long?
    Sarah: Very well, then...
    Hugo: What are you doing?
    Sgt. Joe: You don't look like simple travelers.  You're not from the
    Grasslands, are you?
    Man in Coat: I doubt if you are, either.  Your little band looks out of place
    here, too.  You are... Lilly Pendragon, daughter of the Tinto Republic
    president.
    Lilly: How would you know that?!
    Man in Coat: The honor is all mine.  Pity I don't have the time to get
    acquainted.
    
    [Sarah uses a spell]
    
    Man in Coat: We've stalled long enough.  Say goodbye...
    Masked Man: I am ready.
    Man in Black: I'd like to add another element of style to our exist.  It won't
    take but a moment.
    Man in Coat: See that it doesn't.
    Man in Black: But of course.
    
    [The group vanishes]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Stop right there!
    Man in Black: I'll stop after I finish you!
    
    [Lose the battle]
    
    Man in Black: Ho hum.  This is boring me.  It's not like you're even a
    challenge!
    Hugo: .........
    
    [Hugo sits up]
    
    Man in Black: Ha ha ha.  Worry not, young one.  I'll put you out of your
    misery.
    
    [Sarah appears between them]
    
    Man in Black: Your timing is regrettable.
    Sarah: Come now.
    Man in Black:  .........
    
    [They both vanish]
    
    Hugo: They... were too strong for us.
    Lilly: What did you expect?  They're evil!  I've never know evil to be weak.
    Sgt. Joe: We know they were after something here.
    Lilly: Since they decided to spare me, I mean us, let's be on out way.
    
    [If the party wins that battle]
    
    Man in Black: Maggots!  All of you!
    Hugo: Say goodbye to this world!
    Lilly: Evil beast!  You're doomed!  I'd say doomed from birth with a face like
    that!
    Man in Black: Wretched brats!
    
    [Sarah shows up]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Now what?
    Sarah: Come, Yuber.
    Yuber: .........
    
    [They vanish]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Stop!
    
    Hugo: We didn't learn much about what they were doing.
    Sgt. Joe: Can't say we learned anything!
    Lilly: What is there to learn!  They're evil!  E-V-I-L!
    Sgt. Joe: Let's keep moving.  I have a bad feeling about this place.
    Hugo: Me too.
    Fubar: Kuuueee!
    Lilly: There you go again!  Always walking away while I'm--  Hey, I said wait!
    Reed: ......
    Samus: What a job.
    
    
    [As they exit]
    
    Sgt. Joe: From how far we've come, I'd say we're close to the Great Hollow of
    the Lizard Clan.
    Hugo: The sooner, the better.
    Lilly: After all that, even I'm tired.  A bath, a nice bed, bread... I can't
    wait!
    Hugo: You think the Lizard Clan has that for you?
    Sgt. Joe: She'll find out soon enough.
    
    [Outside the highway]
    
    Lilly: Ah, this is lovely!  The sun feels divine!  And fresh air!  Only zombies
    could have lasted much longer in that tunnel.
    Hugo: Sergeant... listen!
    Sgt. Joe: ?
    Reed: That sound...
    Samus: Blade-against-blade.  And it's very near.
    Hugo: We're too late again!
    
    [They run and find the signs of a battle]
    
    Hugo: Look at this!
    Sgt. Joe: Those are Zexen knights.  The ironheads hit Karaya, and now they're
    after the Lizard Clan!
    Reed: This looks... serious.
    Samus: You mean the Zexens looks serious.
    Lilly: But why now-again?
    Sgt. Joe: "Again"?
    Hugo: Sergeant, we must join the battle!
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo-come back!
    Lilly: Don't leave me here, you fool!
    
    [They run and a battle starts, party wins]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Ironheads... You can always count on them to be organized.
    Lilly: I should hope so.
    Hugo: Be careful!
    
    [After a second battle]
    
    Chris: Let's not get carried away.  We're here to show them the dignity of
    Zexen, not to exterminate them.
    Lucia: Your actions have already overstepped those bounds.
    
    [Lucia comes out with Lizards and Karayans]
    
    Lucia: It looks like the White Maiden of the Knights wants bloodshed.
    Leo: What?!
    Chris: Wait, Leo.
    
    [Chris comes forward]
    
    Chris: I wasn't expecting to meet the Karaya Clan Chief so soon after the
    treaty negotiations.  I admire your coming forward personally once more.
    Lucia: I couldn't resist seeing the pretty face of the Zexen Knight captain
    again.
    Chris: You have a treacherous tongue.
    Lucia: And you, White Maiden, come with the treacherous sword that took lives
    from my clan.  You hold that bloodied sword of yours even now!
    Chris: .........
    Salome: If it's war you want...
    Lucia: Your type of "honorable" war?  Karayans do not think of a sneak-attack
    massacre as being war or honorable!
    Dupa: As my ancestors did before me, I, the new Lizard Clan Chief, take an oath
    of vengeance!
    Chris: The Zexen Knights will do their duty to protect their people!
    
    Sgt. Joe: We've made it this far, but there's too many ironheads for us to get
    through without a fight.
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    Hugo: What is it?
    Sgt. Joe: Look.  Both sides are withdrawing.
    Hugo: Is our griffon to thank?
    Fubar: Kue?
    
    [Enter the Great Hollow]
    
    Luce: Hugo?  Hugo!  Our Hugo is back!
    
    [Luce comes running up to them]
    
    Luce: You all made it back!  The attack on the village was awful.  I can
    imagine your shock to find it reduced to ashes.  Lucia!  Lucia, come!  Hugo is
    back!
    Lucia: You were smart to come here.  We tried to send word, but it just wasn't
    possible.  At all.
    Luce: Spirits, no chance for that!  And... where is Lulu?  That child, always
    roaming about, getting into trouble.  Where is he?  Were you separated?  That
    child!  As soon as he finds something new, he's gone like a bolt of lightning.
    I'll find him before dinner and reprimand him.  I'm sure he's fine.  If you
    made it back, he can't be too far behind.  He will be showing up soon, won't
    he?  Say it's so.  Say SOMETHING, please!
    Hugo: Luce...
    Sgt. Joe: We are so sort, Luce.  I was there and still he... I'm so sorry.
    Luce: Sergeant?  You mean you lost tack of him?  That's what you mean, isn't
    it?
    Sgt. Joe: We were there when the Karaya village was burned.  That's when Lulu
    went after an ironhead...  We buried him on Karayan soil.  As soon as we could,
    with all the proper rites...
    Luce: Lulu...
    Sgt. Joe: He watched as his own home burned.  He must've thought... He tried to
    get back at one of them, so with his knife, he...
    Luce: .........
    Luce: Why did he have to do that?  I managed to escape.  Now, I'm here and he's
    not.  A knife?  So young!  My poor child...
    Lucia: Luce.
    Luce: I'm... fine.  I'm... I'm alright, Lucia.  I'm not the only one who lost a
    child that day.  I just didn't know...
    
    [The group splits up]
    
    Hugo: How is Luce?
    Lucia: I gave her some tea to calm her down, then had her get some rest.
    Hugo: Ah...  Mother, I... I'm ashamed.  At the village, when we got there, the
    Sergeant stopped me from-I couldn't.  Not one.  Not even one ironhead for Lulu!
    Later, the Sergeant was furious with me.  I wanted to fight so badly.
    Lucia: Hugo, I know how you feel.  And it's not just us-all of the Grassland
    Clans must fight if we are to survive.  Harmonia from the north, Dunan from the
    east, and Zexen.  We've fought for years to keep them all from taking this
    land.  Nothing has changed yet, even though we've fought with all our heart.
    In Grassland, we must fight to protect what is important.
    Hugo: I shouldn't have listened to the Sergeant?
    Lucia: You must decide for yourself what is worth fighting for.  Then you ,must
    fight for it with all your heart.  But I will worry about you no matter what
    you choose to fight for.  Consoling Luce, I tried not to show how happy I was
    you were alive.  Any mother would feel that way.  My love for you is strong,
    Hugo.  I pray never to know that grief...
    Hugo: .........
    Lucia: .........
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, are you--  Oh...
    Hugo: What is it?
    Sgt. Joe: Please don't stop on my account, Hugo.  I know you've been away from
    home.  I know it's hard.
    Hugo: Who asked you... Did you want to talk?
    Sgt. Joe: I hadn't seen those three from Tinto for a while, so I thought they
    might be with you.
    Hugo: Ah.  We can't let them make any trouble around here.  Especially that
    Lilly lady... Better go look for them.
    Sgt. If they disappear, so will our other 2000 potch.
    Lucia: Sergeant.  Could you... Thank you.
    Sgt. Joe: I don't intend to make that same mistake twice.
    
    [Find Lilly and co. talking with Dupa]
    
    Lilly: There's no point in keeping secrets from me.
    Reed: Milady!
    Shiba: Your talk insults the new Clan Chief!
    Dupa: Shiba, Shiba.  This story may be good.  Let's hear this daughter of the
    Tinto Chief.
    Lilly: I'm not exactly a storyteller.  I'm after the Fire Bringer.  You must
    tell me whatever you know about them.
    Dupa: "Fire Bringer"?  That story is so very, very old.
    Shiba: "Fire... Bringer"?
    Dupa: Perhaps you're unfamiliar with this because you're from the south.  When
    I was young, I often asked my father to tell me about the great deeds of the
    hero [Flame Champion] and the Fire Bringer.
    
    [Cut to a flashback]
    
    Flame Champion: The escort is small.  Only one squad-an easy haul.  We'll
    attack on my signal.
    Fire Bringer: Ready!
    Fire Bringer: Same as always, right?
    Flame Champion: Same as always.  There they are.  Now!
    
    Dupa: Over 50 years ago, more than half of Grassland was invaded by the Holy
    Harmonian Kingdom.  Most clans fell under their control, including ours.  Even
    clans outside their grasp paid tribute.  No one questioned this.  Their army
    was unrivaled.  Every clan combined was no match for just one Harmonian
    battalion.  But the Flame Champion [Flame Champion] and the Fire Bringer were
    unafraid.
    
    Fire Bringer: There's even more here than we expected.  If it were like this
    every time, we could retire!
    Fire Bringer: Hah hah hah.
    Flame Champion: If only it were so.
    Fire Bringer: Leader, what shall we do with all these riches?
    Flame Champion: We will buy back Grassland.
    Fire Bringer: Brilliant!  But why stop at Grassland?  How about all of
    Harmonia!
    Fire Bringer: Right!  Hah hah hah!
    Flame Champion: The grandest of schemes!
    
    Dupa: Their battles were small, but word spread quickly about the "Fire
    Bringer" bandits, who raided Harmonian transports.  Those rumors made the clans
    brave and hopeful.  Soon, one man led them all.
    
    Fire Bringer: At last, the showdown has come.
    Flame Champion: So it has.  This is it.  The last battle.  For good.
    Lizard Fighter: Victory will be ours!
    Duck Fighter: Victory!
    
    Dupa: Harmonian forces clashed fiercely with the Grassland forces led by [Flame
    Champion] the Flame Champion.  It was... the worst battle in history.  They say
    neither side was a clear victor.
    
    Hugo: What happened to the Flame Champion?
    Dupa: No one really knows.  He was never seen again.  Even so, Harmonia has
    never tried to conquer Grassland again.  No one's sure what really happened to
    him.  Some say he went to the far western continent, or died in valor.  I've
    even heard he now lives a lavish life within Harmonia.  That is why you must
    give up looking for the Flame Champion.  So many tales have been told about the
    Fire Bringer returning.  But they turn out to be fairy tales.  Nothing more.
    The events I speak of happened over 50 years ago.  He'd be over 80 years old
    today.  Too old for most humans to live.  If your quest is one of play, stop
    your folly and go home.
    
    [Go find Lilly and co.]
    
    Reed: Milady, please.  You have found important clues.  There is no need for
    anger.
    Lilly: Who says I'm angry?  And even if I was, there'd be no reason to treat me
    like a child!
    Samus: So it's true you are angry.
    Lilly: I beg your pardon!
    Samus: It's true, um, that...
    Sgt. Joe: Now do you believe me?  The Flame Champion is gone.  Why do you
    insist on finding him?
    Lilly: Why do you care?  What I do is not your concern.
    Hugo: Like Dupa the Clan Chief and the Sergeant both said, if he were alive,
    he'd be too old to be of any use to you.
    Lilly: .........
    Lilly: Ha!  You have no idea, do you?  You don't know why he's called "Flame
    Champion," do you?
    Hugo: Why?
    Lilly: Have you ever heard of the "27 True Runes"?
    Hugo: Sure, my mother has talked about them many times.
    Sgt. Joe: Runes?  Ah, the ones with all kinds of untold powers.
    Lilly: The Flame Champion possessed one.  The True Fire Rune, to be exact.
    Sgt. Joe: And that's where the "Flame" came from?  Not too imaginative.
    Lilly: Each of the 27 True Runes has tremendous power.  When I was young, I met
    someone gifted with such power.  Shame I can't remember a thing about it.
    Anyway, all of the True Runes have one power in common.  Immortality!  One who
    uses a rune will never grow old.
    Hugo: You're saying that...
    Lilly: That the Flame Champion is young and alive and living somewhere in
    Grassland.  He's using Fire Bringer to...
    Sgt. Joe: To attack Tinto traders?  Highly unbelievable.  Instead of that
    nonsense, let's talk about something real.  For instance, the 2000 potch you
    still owe us.
    Lilly: You're not much of a visionary.  But that can't be helped.  Reed, pay
    them.
    Reed: Milady, there's a problem.
    Lilly: What are you talking about?
    Reed: Our funds.
    Lilly: Why weren't you more careful?
    Samus: At first you said we would travel for one week.  That was over a month
    ago!  Put yourself in our position.
    Lilly: It's always my fault.  Lilly is always to blame.  She's the bad one.  So
    it goes.
    
    [Lilly walks up to Hugo]
    
    Lilly: I'm sorry.  You'll have to wait a while longer.
    Hugo: Why?
    Lilly: Our funds have run out.  I can't pay anything unless I find a Tinto
    trader.
    Sgt. Joe: I knew it.
    Lilly: Duck, are you saying I lied from the start?
    Sgt. Joe: Well, no, not exactly.
    Lilly: What choice do I have?  I can't pay you money I don't have.
    Sgt. Joe: All that talk of your being a daughter of aristocracy.  That's not
    easy to believe either.
    Reed: Now you stop right there!  Explain what you mean by that.
    Lilly: If you have a problem with my credibility, speak up, or forever hold
    your peace!
    
    [Try to leave the Great Hollow]
    
    Hugo: Look!  Isn't that Jimba?
    Sgt. Joe: Looks like it.
    
    [Hugo goes running up to him]
    
    Hugo: Jimba!  You made it!
    Jimba: Ah, Hugo, good to see you!  You're looking strong, as always.  I gather
    you've seen the ruins of our village.
    Hugo: I'm sorry to say I watched it burn.
    Jimba: So it goes...  Lulu is usually right at your heels.  Where did he go?
    Hugo: Lulu... at the village, he...
    Sgt. Joe: Jimba, what happened is...
    
    [Scene fades out, explanation must have happened[
    
    Jimba: That's quite a tale...  You've been through a lot.  I was gone from the
    village, too.  When I returned, it was already in ashes.  We must have missed
    each other somehow.  From Chisha, I went by Lake Castle, then finally came
    here.
    Hugo: "Lake Castle"?
    Jimba: A tiny castle, if you can even call it that, which lies between Zexen
    and Grassland.  Recently a new lord took over the castle, and people from all
    over are coming to visit it.  I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about.
    But I ran into a Zexen patrol and had to flee.  Too bad.  I really wanted to
    explore that castle.
    Hugo: So it hasn't been an easy time for you either.
    Jimba: I should go and tell our Clan Chief I'm alive, and tell her what I
    found.  Can you take me to her?
    Hugo: Okay, sure.
    
    [Go find Lucia]
    
    Lucia: Jimba-you're here!
    Jimba: Yes.  But it took some effort.  I have much to tell you about Zexen,
    Harmonian troop movement, and the Flame Champion.
    Lucia: The Flame Champion?  You mean the old hero [Flame Champion]?
    Jimba: Believe it or not, yes...
    Sgt. Joe: This conversation is not for ever member of your clan to hear.  Come,
    Hugo.
    Hugo: Huh?
    Sgt. Joe: Secrets are secrets-not even official messengers should know.
    Hugo: That's not fair!  I deserve to know!
    
    [Sgt. Joe drags Hugo off]
    
    Hugo: Sergeant?
    Sgt. Joe: What is it, boy?
    Hugo: Is the Flame Champion Jimba spoke of the same one that...?
    Sgt. Joe: Probably.  But why is someone like that girl interested all of a
    sudden?  That's a puzzle.
    Lilly: You're talking about me!
    Sgt. Joe: Hey, don't scare me like that!
    Lilly: Is Jimba the man who just walked by here?  I'll be sure to ask him what
    he knows!
    Sgt. Joe: Don't bother.
    Lilly: !!  It's you!
    Jimba: Huh?
    
    [Jimba walks up to the group]
    
    Jimba: Hugo, I must know... Did you do what I asked you to do?
    Hugo: Of course!
    Jimba: Thank you, Hugo.  What a relief.  You've been a great help.
    Lilly: Um, people, are you ignoring me?  You!  Have you found out something
    about the Flame Champion?
    Jimba: About this other matter... I believe the Zexen Knights have ulterior
    motives behind their attacks on the Great Hollow.
    Lilly: List to me when I'm speaking!  Listen!
    Hugo: Jimba, did you hear something new about the Flame Champion in the past
    few days?
    Jimba: Not about [Flame Champion] the Flame Champion, but about what's left of
    the Fire Bringer he once led.  Meanwhile, it seems Zexen may not be the only
    one sending forces into Grassland.  I want to enlist as many allies as
    possible, in case the time ever comes...
    Lilly: Finally!  This is what I wanted to hear.
    Jimba: I talked with our Clan Chief, and we agreed it's best to have you go to
    Lake Castle, since I couldn't get in.
    Hugo: Lake Castle?  What for?
    Lilly: To find the Flame Champion!  Aren't you paying attention?
    Jimba: People are coming from near and far to gather at the castle.  It used to
    serve as a meeting place between Zexen and Grassland.  It's no longer
    prosperous, but the castle's new lord is like no other.  He wants people from
    Grassland to come.
    Hugo: All right, but how is that connected to the Flame Champion?
    Jimba: The castle might also be a cover for the Fire Bringer.  Go there and
    make contact with the castle lord, or, if possible, with the Fire Bringer
    themselves.  Okay?
    Lilly: If that's all there is to it, leave this mission to me!
    Hugo: So it's been decided that I can go?
    Jimba: Yes.  Unless you're not interested...
    Hugo: I didn't say that!  I'm interested!
    Jimba: Good.  Once you're inside, if it doesn't seem safe to continue, learn
    whatever you can, then get out.
    Sgt. Joe: Slip into the castle, watch the castle lord carefully, then make
    contact with any Fire Bringer he may be sheltering...
    Lilly: Could it be any easier?
    Jimba: This is urgent, Hugo.  Can you leave right away?
    Hugo: Yes.
    Lilly: Lake Castle, here we come!  What?
    Hugo: Are you coming too?
    Lilly: Well, since you're inviting me... Let's go!
    
    [As they leave the Great Hollow]
    
    Jimba: Hugo, Sergeant-good luck.
    Hugo: We won't need it this time.
    Sgt. Joe: You be careful too, Jimba.
    Jimba: Sure, sure.
    Hugo: What, what's he doing?
    Sgt. Joe: Who can say?
    Jimba: Don't give it another thought.  My work here will be boring compared to
    yours.
    Reed: Milady, must we go to this castle straightaway?
    Lilly: Yes!  Members of the Fire Bringer are there.
    Samus: But if we go, we won't find a single Tinto trader to replenish our
    funds.  What will we do at this castle?
    Lilly: Don't question your duty.  Now follow me!
    Reed: But across the center of Grassland?  We may be thrown into combat at any
    moment!
    Lilly: Those are the risk.  Let's move it, people!
    Reed: ?  Milady, wait!
    Samus: Doesn't she ever get tired?
    
    End of Hugo Chapter 2
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Geddoe - Chapter 2 [ChGeddoe2]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [Geddoe heads up to speak with a merchant]
    
    Detective: Hello.  Need help finding something?
    Geddoe: What do you have that's in season?
    Detective: We have this blue fruit from the north.  Would you like a taste?
    Geddoe: How much is it?
    Detective: Highway bandits have driven up the price.  How about 4?
    Geddoe: The stuff you sold me last time was crap.  How about 2?
    Detective: That was just bad luck.  It was already over by the time you got it.
    3 and a half.
    Geddoe: It was over?  There was no trace of anything.  Are you saying it
    vanished into thin air?  How about 3?
    Detective: You drive a hard bargain, but you've always been good to me.  I'll
    do it for 3.
    Geddoe: Glad to see you still have a good memory.
    Detective: It's part of being good in business.  Here you go.
    Geddoe: Thanks.
    Detective: There's more.  There's a letter for you from that man.  I put it in
    there.
    Geddoe: Good.  He's always dependable.
    Detective: Bothersome is more like it, sir.  Like a rash that won't go away.
    Geddoe: Maybe so.
    
    [Meet up with the group]
    
    Geddoe: What's the matter?  I thought you'd be drunk and passed out by now.
    Joker: That was my intention, but there were other things going on.
    Queen: Harmonia's Frontier Forces are on the move.  This is highly unusual.
    Geddoe: Harmonia's Frontier Forces?
    Joker: There's also a Bishop with them.  But that's not so strange.
    Geddoe: I see...
    
    [Cut to the Harmonian group]
    
    Albert: After several decades of peace and quiet in Grassland, seeds of
    rebellion have been sown.  I'm sure you've all heard of the bandits known as
    the Fire Bringer!  I'm sure you've also heard of the disaster brought to that
    land!  We cannot allow the one who claims the title of Flame Champion to
    disgrace the honor of the one true hero, Hikusaak.  You will travel with the
    Bishop Sasarai, who hails from Crystal Valley.  We shall head to the village of
    the Safir Clan, one of the Six Clans.  It is there that those despicable Fire
    Bringer and [Flame Champion], the fake Flame Champion, are reportedly hiding.
    Sasarai: I am Bishop Sasarai.  My desire is to stop those seeds of violence
    before a war breaks out.  I strive to ensure continued peace between Harmonia
    and Grassland.
    
    Ace: They're really adamant about this.
    Queen: They must be, to come all the way out here....  But, as for this Flame
    Champion... they should stop spreading old wives' tales.
    Geddoe: Fore sure.  I think we've seen everything we can here.  Let's go.
    
    [Back in the inn]
    
    Aila: So...how was it?  Did you see anything interesting?
    Ace: Well, Captain.  What's the plan?  The other teams are already heading for
    Grassland.  Duke and his group have left too.  Maybe we should....
    Aila: Let him answer my question first!
    Ace: Well, we could simply follow the Frontier Force.  But why would they send
    in the regular army for this?  In all my years, I've never seen this go on
    before!
    Aila: Hey!  I'm asking you a question!  You're the one who told me to stay
    behind!
    Ace: Hey!  Relax and finish your soda.  You look too much like a Karaya girl.
    If we had taken you with us, who knows what kind of trouble you'd have gotten
    us into?!
    Aila: Bu....
    Queen: ....
    Joker: I say we move out.  We need to do something besides sleep here.
    Queen: We should figure out something.  Shall we go back to Grassland, even if
    we're lagging behind everyone else?
    Geddoe: No.  We'll head off to Le Buque now.
    Ace: Le Buque?!  I heard that's the village of the Mantor trainers.
    Geddoe: That's right.
    Ace: I get it.  I see you got some very nice fruit.
    Aila: ??????
    Geddoe: Yeah.
    Joker: It's settled, then.  Why not head out soon?
    Geddoe: Good idea.  Time is scarce.  This could turn into a fire like no one's
    seen since the city alliance wars 15 years ago.
    Queen: Don't say that.
    Ace: All right!  Time to wake up Jacques.  Let's move!  We've got work to do!
    
    [Ace leaves, Jacques arrives a few moments later]
    
    Jacques: Huh?  Are we leaving?
    Joker: Weren't you sleeping upstairs?
    Jacques: I couldn't fall asleep there, so I went up in a tree outside.
    Queen: ......
    Aila: What a weirdo!
    
    [outside the inn]
    
    Ace: It'll take a few days to get to Le Buque if we go north along the mountain
    road.  Queen: Don't go getting us lost now!
    Ace: Would I do that?  Now, let's go, you slackers.
    
    [Everyone leaves but the girls]
    
    Queen: Slackers, huh...
    
    [Arrive at Le Buque]
    
    Ace: So, this is Le Buque.  It's the village of the Mantor trainers, right?
    Joker: That's right.  The ability to train those insects allowed this tribe to
    survive.
    Jacques: Hmmm.
    Aila: Mantor trainers?
    Queen: Yes.  The Carna tribe of Le Buque could always control the Mantors.  So,
    even after they were conquered by Harmonia, they were allowed to live.
    Aila: Allowed to live?
    
    [A group approaches]
    
    Ace: What's that?
    Geddoe: It's coming.
    Queen: Why can't we ever be left alone?
    
    [Defeat the Mantors and their trainers]
    
    Ace: What do you want?
    Queen: Do tell.  Why do you come at us without warning?
    Franz: We have orders from the regular army not to let any unidentified people
    in.
    Joker: The regular army?  You mean from Harmonia?  What are you, a guard dog?
    Franz: What'd you say?!
    Bishop: What's going on?
    Franz: Greetings, Bishop.  I spotted these suspicious-looking characters and
    was about to run them off.
    Geddoe: Bishop?
    Bishop: Who are you?  Are you Harmonian?
    Geddoe: No.  I am Geddoe, assigned to the Harmonian Regional Army's Southern
    Frontier Defense Force.
    Bishop: A mercenary, huh?
    Geddoe: Yes.
    Bishop: And what do you want here?
    Geddoe: We have instructions from the Defense Force to search for the True
    Rune.
    Bishop: Oh, really?  I see.  This man is a mercenary of the Harmonian army.
    Take him to the village.
    Franz: Y-Yes, sir!
    Geddoe: Bishop, will you tell me your name?
    Bishop: What's in a name?  There are things that are better kept secret with
    this type of mission.
    Geddoe: If you say so.
    Bishop: Well, if you'll excuse me.
    Franz: You have permission to enter the village, but don't try anything funny.
    
    [The mantors leave]
    
    Ace: It's odd to find a Bishop in a place life this.
    Queen:  Remember Sasarai, the Bishop who accompanied the Harmonian Regional
    Army from Caleria?  Now there's this other one here in Le Buque.  This is not
    just a coincidence!
    Aila: Bishop?  Who's that?  Seems like a pretty important man.
    Joker: Well, he's important in title but little else.  The one leading the
    Harmonian Army is the Bishop.  The fact that he came out to a place like this
    must mean something's up.
    Aila: The Harmonian Army?
    Ace: That's right.  First is the Harmonian Army, under which is the Harmonian
    Regional Army.  We Defense Unit guys are below them.  Then, below us, you have
    the third-class citizen units.  Like the guy who was riding that Mantor before.
    Aila: It all seems so complicated.  In Karaya, the chief is the most important,
    and everyone else is the same.
    Ace: That seems almost too simple to be a military.
    
    [In the center of the town]
    
    Franz: What do you mean by that?
    Villager: Just as I said.  We have nothing to sell to Harmonians.
    Franz: What?!  Who said I'm Harmonian?  What's your gripe?
    Villager: Your name and appearance are Harmonian.  You eat different food,
    right?  You're so much like them it sickens me.
    Mantor Legionnaire: You!  Cut it out!
    Villager: Ooh, you're right!  The Harmonian brass might get mad.
    Mantor Legionnaire: ...
    Franz: Do what you wish!
    
    [They all leave]
    
    Aila: What was that all about?
    Ace: Well, that was... um...
    Queen: Just a complicated situation.
    
    [Walk around some more]
    
    Aila: Ah!  It's her!
    Ace: That's the one from Karaya...
    Aila: It's that woman!
    
    [Aila runs off]
    
    Ace: H-Hey, hey, hang on!
    
    [Go after Aila]
    
    Geddoe: What're you doing there?
    Aila: Shh!
    Geddoe: Huh?
    
    [Inside the building]
    
    Sarah: ...preparations... complete.
    Bishop: Could I... have some...
    Sarah: ...mind?
    Bishop: Yes...  Time flows... ...toward the end of the world...
    Sarah: The end of this world?
    Bishop: ...the end of the future...
    Sarah: ...you can see that?
    Bishop: ...the True... Rune...
    Sarah: Really?
    Bishop: Humans will not survive....  Our future is predetermined... A war
    against
    the gods...  This is... the desired end...
    Sarah: You want...
    Bishop: ...A million people will die...  ...extreme death...
    Geddoe: What's he...?
    Aila: I knew it!  It's her!  The sorceress from last time!  They're planning
    something evil!
    Geddoe: Hm!  Let's go.
    Aila: Uh, r-right!
    
    [Walk around some more]
    
    Bishop: Is everyone here?
    Franz: So sorry I'm late!
    Bishop: Hm...
    Bishop: As the Bishop appointed by the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia, I bring you
    new orders.  Because of your Mantor training abilities, I am giving you third-
    class citizens this opportunity: If you succeed in this next war, you shall be
    granted second-class citizenship in the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia.
    Mantor Legionnaire: Really?
    Mantor Legionnaire: If we become second-class citizens...
    Mantor Legionnaire: B-But...
    Sarah: Silence.
    Bishop: The Southern Regional Army of the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia has already
    crossed the frontier into Grassland.  You'll go assist them in their search for
    the notorious Fire Bringer.  First, head for the Safir Clan.
    Sarah: Any questions?
    Mantor Legionnaire: We're going to be fighting the Safir Clan?  One of the six
    Grassland clans?
    Bishop: That would be the case.
    Mantor Legionnaire: B-But... We're originally Grasslanders, so to fight against
    them is to...
    Mantor Legionnaire: But it means we can become second-class citizens.
    Mantor Legionnaire: But we're of the same blood.
    Franz: Shhh!  Quiet!
    Bishop: You'll leave once the emissary from Caleria gets here.  Meanwhile, I'd
    suggest you decide where your true loyalty lies.
    
    [The masked bishop departs]
    
    Aila: Hey, what's going on?  They don't seem too enthusiastic about those
    orders.
    Ace: Well, that's because... well...  Well, I think it would be too difficult
    for
    you to understand.
    Aila: What do you mean?!  Why can't you just tell me?!
    Joker: This village used to be a Grasslander village.  You heard it before,
    right?  That this is a village that was "allowed to live"?
    Aila: That's what I don't understand.  What does it mean to be "allowed to
    live"?
    Joker: They were granted permission to exist as long as they were of service to
    Harmonia.  Now they're being asked to fight against their own kind.  They have
    a hard choice to make.
    Aila: ...
    
    [Wander some more]
    
    Franz: Didn't you hear, Iku?
    Iku: What's just like you said?
    Franz: Weren't you listening?  Second-class citizenship.  We have a chance at
    becoming second-class citizens!
    Iku: Okay.  What's so good about that?
    Franz: Don't you understand?  If we become second-class citizens, we won't be
    taxed as heavily.  We'll be able to travel freely, and we'll have permission to
    trade!  Finally, we can be treated like real human beings.
    Iku: Human beings?
    Franz: Iku...
    Iku: So you think we have to be second-class to be considered worthy of humane
    treatment now?
    Franz: Iku... I was forced to work at Crystal Valley like a slave, and I dreamt
    about returning here.  When I finally got back, I realized nothing had changed.
    We're still slaves.  We have no real choices, and the only reason we're allowed
    to live is because of our power to train Mantor.
    Iku: If you've been so unhappy working for Harmonia, why do them any more
    favors?
    Franz: Iku... We can't go back to living like Grasslanders.  Fifty years have
    gone by already.  How many Grassland people helped us take Le Buque back from
    Harmonia?  We're not a Grassland village anymore.  Stop sympathizing with all
    the old fogies.
    Iku: No...
    Aila: Hey, what are you two arguing about?  What's a slave, anyway?
    Ace: H-Hey, Aila!
    Aila: W-What do you want?!
    Franz: You're the ones from earlier...
    Ace: Yea.... Uh, sorry.  We didn't mean to eavesdrop.  Are you having a lover's
    quarrel?
    Franz: What?!  Lovers?!
    Ave: So sorry.  Didn't mean any harm.  Anyway, isn't there more to this story?
    Franz: Hmph.
    Franz: Iku.  I'l staking my life on this mission.  Regardless of what you may
    think or what the other villagers may think, I'm not going to change the way
    I've decided to live.  I've got to get ready.... Bye....
    Iku: Franz...
    Franz: Do Harmonian mercenaries also spy on third-class citizens?
    
    [Franz leaves]
    
    Aila: Umm... it was none of our business.  Sorry.
    Iku: Oh, it's okay.  I've heard what Franz wanted to say.  I must go now.
    Aila: Umm, could you tell me something?  What's this all about?  I came from
    the Karaya Clan, and I really don't know anything.
    Iku: Karaya.  From Grassland.... I see....
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Iku: Come in.  It's not much, but it'll do.
    Aila: Uh, thanks.  Thanks for inviting me.
    Iku: It's tiring, standing around and talking.
    Ace: Hey, Captain.  Captain, what should we do?
    Geddoe: About what?
    Ace: Why stay and listen to them talk about old stories?  Whaddya say we check
    on that Bishop?  The woman who was with him is the same one Joker and I saw
    back at Karaya.
    Queen: Seems suspicious.
    Ace: Yeah, totally.  So, Captain?
    Geddoe: I guess.
    
    [The girls leave to have a chat and the boys go off to spy]
    
    Ace: Huh?  Where's Queen?
    Geddoe: She's going with Aila.
    Ace: What on earth is she thinking?
    Joker: Who knows?  She's a woman.
    Geddoe: Let's go.
    Joker: Uh, right.
    
    [Recruit Edge]
    
    Geddoe: What are you doing?
    Edge: Selling.
    Geddoe: You're selling that sword?
    Star Dragon Sword: Nobody's selling me, yet still I sit here and show off as if
    I'm on sale.  Must be my birth sign.  I've always been very flamboyant...
    Geddoe: Interesting.  A talking sword!  Why do you have it?
    Edge: Here's the deal... For 1000 potch, you get to duel me.  If you win, this
    sword is yours.
    Geddoe: Are you the owner of this sword?
    Star Dragon Sword: You could say he's my servant.  Just my luck, too.  First it
    was that man who had more hair than a sloth, and now this guy...
    Edge: It's customary for a master to pay for his servant's upkeep, so...
    Star Dragon Sword: Ugh.  Humans are so whiny with all their wants and needs...
    Eating, drinking, sleeping... bah!  So much trouble!
    Edge: It sounds like you're the one complaining.
    Star Dragon Sword: Very funny.  Ha ha.
    Geddoe: ....
    Edge: Are you challenging me?  Well, are you?
    Geddoe: All right, I'll duel you.
    Edge: All right.
    
    [Duel him and win]
    
    Edge: ...To think I'd lose!...
    Geddoe: I will take the sword.
    Edge: I'm sorry... I know what I promised, but this sword was entrusted to me by
    someone very important.  There's no way I can hand it over.
    Geddoe: You're rescinding your offer?
    Edge: I can't give you the sword, but I will share the sword's powers with you.
    You can use me, as the bearer of the sword, for as long as you deem necessary.
    Geddoe: A reprehensible act...
    Star Dragon Sword: Off the beaten track we go again.  Foolish kid!!
    Edge: Sorry.
    
    [Edge joined the 108 stars]
    
    [Explore some more]
    
    Mantor Legionnaire: I have just returned!
    Bishop: Good.  I want everyone readied for deployment, except those I've
    specified.
    Mantor Legionnaire: B-But what about security for the altar?
    Bishop: There's no need for that.  Start making your preparations.
    Mantor Legionnaire: Y-Yes, sir.
    Sarah: Who is the emissary from Caleria?  Are you talking about Yuber?
    Bishop: No.  I have a different bodyguard.
    Joker: It was something about getting rid of security for the altar.
    Ace: You sure have good ears.  You've got devil's ears, old man.
    Joker: I don't think so.  I'm just good at reading lips.
    Ace: Oh.  An unusual skill.  Foreign magic, huh?
    Joker: There's nothing magical about it.
    Geddoe: It concerns me that they're getting rid of security for the altar.
    Ace: I wonder what it means.  What was that girl's name?  Iku, was it?  I
    wonder if she'd know something about it.
    
    [Go back to Iku's place]
    
    Queen: So did you find out anything?
    Ace: For some reason, the insect trainers who protect the altar are also being
    deployed.  What's with this altar, anyway?
    Iku: The altar...?  Oh, are you talking about the altar of the Mantor trainers?
    Queen: The altar of the Mantor trainers?  What on earth is that?
    Iku: Well, when the Flame Champion invaded Harmonia, back when this village was
    still fighting as part of Grassland, the Flame Champion [Flame Champion] built
    an altar at Mt. Senai in the north and asked that it be protected.  Because of
    the Harmonian occupation, the insect trainers began referring to the altar of
    the Flame Champion as their own so that the authorities would not destroy it.
    Joker: The altar of the Flame Champion, huh?  That's probably what they're
    after.
    Ace: What should we do?  There's no point in staying here.  If that bishop
    general is after that altar, maybe we should go ahead and beat him to it.  Iku,
    could you tell us where it is?
    Iku: I'll do better than that.  I'll show you the way.
    Geddoe: The altar of the Flame Champion...
    
    [As you go to depart]
    
    Bishop: The emissary has arrived.  I've already told him where we'll be joining
    the main force.  I expect great things of you, so do well.
    Sarah: Everyone!  Prepare for departure.  We'll leave the moment we're ready.
    
    [Franz comes running to meet Iku]
    
    Franz: Iku...
    Iku: Franz...
    Franz: I'm leaving now....  I wish you understood why.  I'm... doing this for
    the
    village....  No, the truth is, I'm doing this for you.  You're what I'm fighting
    for.  Remember that....  Farewell.
    Iku: Franz...
    Franz: Yes?
    Iku: All right.  I won't try to stop you.  Not if it's what you really believe
    in.  But, please... be careful.... And make sure you come back alive.
    Franz: I will.
    
    [Franz leaves, the mantors depart]
    
    Aila: Iku, why didn't you stop him?
    Iku: I believed what the people of the village were saying.  And I still
    believe it.  However... however...  I also know that Franz is doing this for the
    village.  And... if I don't believe in him, who would?  I think he'd give up
    hope
    for good.
    Aila: That's her reason?
    Ace: Maybe that's too deep for a child to grasp.
    Aila: Wh-What?  Who're you calling a child?!
    Ace: Hahahaha.  In any case, Iku, we don't have much time.  Could you show us
    the way?
    Iku: Of course.
    
    [Exiting Le Buque]
    
    Iku: Remember the road I showed you before?  It will lead you to the altar.
    Queen: Thank you.  Stay tough, girl.  You need to with such an intense
    boyfriend.
    Iku: Uh, thank you.  Well, if you'll excuse me.
    
    [Iku heads back to the village]
    
    Queen: Bye.
    Aila: So, what's going to happen to the village?  Is it going to be part of
    Harmonia or Grassland?
    Joker: Not easy to say yet.  It's hard for people to choose new lifestyles when
    their native blood runs thick.
    Aila: Hmm....  Well, I'm Aila of the Karaya Clan.  I don't think of myself as
    anything else.
    Ace: Hahaha!  That's my kind of thinking.  And I'm Ace, the most able and
    desirable man in the number one defense team.
    Joker: Ugh, spare me your self-adoration.
    Queen: The most desirable man, huh?
    Ace: What?  Like you haven't noticed?
    Geddoe: We'd better get going.
    Ace: Hold it!  Wait while I sketch us a map.  Oh, Captain, don't tell me you're
    upset at me for calling myself the most desirable man here?
    
    [Head to Mt. Senai]
    
    Ace: Phew!  This is no fun.  They get to fly those Mantor, and we have to hike
    up this steep mountain road with no rest in sight.
    Joker: Why ride one of those when I could make you a magic broom instead?
    Ace: Don't make fun of me, old man!
    Queen: Ace riding on a magic broom, huh?  That's something I'd like to see.
    Jacques: ...
    Ace: Hey, Jacques.  Don't you laugh.
    Jacques: Sorry.
    
    [Further in the group sees Sarah and the Bishop]
    
    Aila: Hey, look!
    Joker: Shh!  I know.  Looks like they beat us to it.  Too bad we couldn't check
    it out first.  Can't count on anything these days.
    Geddoe: Well, we can always count on our swords.
    Ace: What?!  We're up against a bishop you know! We could get into big trouble
    if we pull something here!  Remember that!
    Geddoe: We'll see.  Maybe it's my age, but I'm starting to forget things
    lately.
    Ace: No, don't be hasty!  Don't do anything rash!  You know how many pages of
    reports I'd have to file?
    Queen: If that's all you'd have to do, you'd be lucky.
    Ace: Queen, you sure are into this, aren't you?
    Queen: We'll see...
    
    [Further in]
    
    Ace: Did we lose them?  Well, there's only one road....
    Joker: More importantly, we have a guest.
    
    [Duke and his crew arrive]
    
    Duke: Well, what a coincidence, Geddoe.
    Ace: Coincidence?  Hardly!  This isn't the type of place where you bump into
    old friends.  You followed us, didn't you?
    Elaine: Don't flatter yourself!  Why would we want to follow the likes of you?
    Duke: This is work.  The Bishop here was looking for the most able man among
    the defense units to join him...as his bodyguard.
    Joker: The most able among the defense units?  That's strange.  He should've
    gotten in touch with us instead.
    Gau: Well...
    Queen: Well, we're in a bit of a hurry right now.
    Elaine: What's the rush?  Take your time.
    Queen: Let me give you some advice now.  Get away from us!
    Elaine: Sorry you feel that way, but we can't accommodate you.  We're under the
    Bishop's orders to keep people away from here.
    Duke: That's right, Geddoe.  Now, don't make a fuss.  Just go on home.
    Geddoe: Listen, Duke.  That Bishop is plotting something.  Let us find out what
    it is.
    Duke: Plotting?  What kind of plotting?
    Ace: That bastard is up to no good.
    Elaine: Who says you're any better?
    Ace: What'd you say?!
    Duke: Look, Geddoe.  We're mercenaries.  What else is there but our work and
    the payment we get?
    Geddoe: You've got a point.
    Bishop: What are you doing?
    Duke: Oh, Bishop.  Have you finished your business?
    Bishop: Yes.  You - you are Geddoe.  What are you doing here?
    Geddoe: We came here to get information on the Fire Bringer, uh, I mean, the
    Flame Champion.
    Bishop: So?  Have you found anything?
    Geddoe: No.  However... I realize there are no clues here.
    Bishop: Were you following me?
    Geddoe: Yes.
    Bishop: Why?
    Geddoe: I am loyal to my duty and occupation.  I was just attending to my
    duties.
    Bishop: Hmm...  Let's go, Sarah.
    Sarah: Yes.
    Bishop: This Flame Champion "[Flame Champion]" must be a very careful man,
    Geddoe.
    Geddoe: Yes....  So I have heard.
    Duke: Well, we'll be going now.  How about we settle this next time, Geddoe?
    Ace: Leaving so soon?  Aw, darn!
    Duke: Unlike you fools, I don't take on any work if it doesn't pay.  That's
    what it means to be a pro.
    Joker: You're an uppity one, aren't you?
    Duke: Hmph!  Who cares?
    
    [Duke and the others leave]
    
    Ace: Maybe we should head back, too.
    
    [The party goes to leave]
    
    Ace: So, what should we do?
    Aila: I want a soda.
    Joker: I suppose it was than better heading straight into Grassland without any
    clues.
    Queen: Ok, so we've got a masked Bishop, a sorceress seen in the Karaya
    Village, and the Harmonian army deploying suddenly.  Hmmmm.  It's a hard puzzle
    to piece together
    Aila: Mmmmm, sweet, refreshing soda.
    Jacques: Sounds good to me too.
    
    [Head back to Caleria]
    
    Ace: So, Captain.  Isn't it time you told us what's going on?
    Geddoe: Tell you what?
    Ace: We don't have the inside scoop on anything, from what the Bishop was doing
    in that shrine to the Lizard and Karaya Clan incidents.  Are you keeping
    something from us, Captain?
    Geddoe: ...
    Joker: As mercenaries, we don't usually ask for explanations.  We're free to
    take up whatever work we want.  We trust you, Captain.  But there are too many
    strange things going on.  You must know something.
    Geddoe: I'm not even sure myself.  But there's one thread that ties everything
    together.
    Queen: Thread?
    Geddoe: It's the man they call the Flame Champion "[Flame Champion]" ...
    Joker: You mean the Harmonian army fears the Flame Champion, not the "Fire
    Bringer"?
    Aila: I thought he died a long time ago.  Wasn't he some hero from days gone
    by?
    Queen: Yeah...it was over 50 years ago.
    Geddoe: The Flame Champion "[Flame Champion] possessed the True Fire Rune, one
    of the 27 True Runes.
    Aila: 27 True Runes?
    Ace: Well?  Tell us what you know, old man.
    Joker: The power to control the world rests with the 27 True Runes.  Those who
    possess the True Runes have great power and immortality.  For over 15 years, it
    was thought that the leaders who had built Dunan had inherited the Runes.  By
    the way, I'm no "old man".
    Aila: I can hardly believe it.  It's incredible!  Dunan leaders-you're talking
    about the people capable of defeating Chief Lucia, right?  I always thought it
    was strange that Chief Lucia lost as she did.  Now I know the truth: they
    cheated.
    Queen: The Champion still lives.  Harmonia still fears him.  That masked man
    wants to find the hero.  There you have it.
    Geddoe: Who knows?
    Jacques: And so...?
    Ace: And so...what?
    Jacques: And so...what are we going to do?  Are we going to go find the Flame
    Champion for Harmonia?
    Ace: Let's see.... We did get an order from the main unit to "find the True
    Rune".  If we catch him, we deserve a bonus, right?
    Geddoe: I guess so.
    
    [cut to flashback in prologue]
    
    Geddoe: I can't tell if we're being cursed or blessed, but I have faith in this
    world-as long as even the slightest trace of the truth remains in the world.
    Flame Champion: Goodbye, my friends.  Forgive me for not being able to go with
    you.
    
    End of Geddoe Chapter 2
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Hugo - Chapter 3 [ChHugo3]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [Arrive at Lake Castle]
    
    Sgt. Joe: This doesn't seem very much like a castle.  Much too pleasant.
    Lilly: Plus there's... quite a mix of races and clans.  Like some kind of soup!
    Sgt. Joe: Let's see whether we can meet the castle lord.  If not, we'll need to
    think of a new plan.
    
    [Go further in]
    
    Zexen Councilor: I believe I've made myself clear.  You'll not be allowed to
    trouble your father any more than you already have.
    Thomas: Trouble him?  But of course my intentions are nothing of the sort.
    Zexen Councilor: What you're doing right now casts a bad light on him.  We
    couldn't care less about this property's past standing.  It's Zexen now!
    Sebastian: But we offer you legal proof that this land is open to all, even
    non-Zexens.
    Zexen Councilor: That parchment isn't worth the dust it's covered in.  Have
    your things packed and prepare to evacuate the premises by the time I return!
    Thomas: But, sir...
    
    [The councilor moves to leave]
    
    Zexen Councilor: Hmm?  A Grassland barbarian child... I can't imagine why you'd
    be here, but frankly I couldn't care less.
    Hugo: What did you say?!
    Marshal: You have a complaint?  You Grassies are a disorderly lot.  Hmm, you
    look familiar...
    Zexen Councilor: We go at once.
    Marshal: Yes, sir.
    Hugo: Stinking ironheads.
    
    [Go inside the manor]
    
    Sebastian: Good day to you, guests.  Unfortunately, due to our other
    engagements, I must ask you to come again at a later hour.
    
    [Try to leave]
    
    Cecile: Greedy windbag!  If you come back, the only thing you'll get is my
    weapon in your rear end!
    Sgt. Joe: You have a lot of spirit, young one.
    Cecile: "Young one"?  Who, me?
    Sgt. Joe: There's no one else present.  Your dress... do you perform in a
    festival?
    Cecile: Hardly!  What you see is the standard castle garrison uniform.
    Hugo: That's great!  They let girls be guards in my village too.  I'm from
    Karaya.
    Cecile: I prefer my real title, please.  Garrison Commander.  So you've all
    come here from Grassland?
    Lilly: From Grassland to here, yes.  But I'm no Grasslander.
    Cecile: Did you come to meet with Lord Thomas?
    Sgt. Joe: Is he in command of this castle?
    Cecile: Yes, indeed.  I'll inform him immediately of his new guests.
    
    [She runs off]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Wait!
    Reed: She's the garrison commander?
    Samus: These days anything goes.
    
    [Go back to the manor]
    
    Cecile: At last, trade envoys from Grassland!  Now the plan is sure to work.
    Thomas: I wasn't aware of Karaya sending any trade envoys.
    Cecile: Why else would they be here?  This is only the beginning.  After this,
    things will turn out exactly like you hoped.
    Thomas: I don't know...  Where are they now?  Did you bring them through?
    Cecile: Uh-oh...
    Thomas: Cecile!  Where are your manners?  Guests shouldn't be kept waiting at
    the gates!
    Cecile: Sorry!  I'll escort them in immediately.
    Sgt. Joe: "Trade envoys"?  Are you referring to us?
    Cecile: Oh!  Lord Thomas, these are the people I was telling you about.
    Thomas: Ah.  Welcome, welcome.  I'm Thomas, lord of this castle.  Perhaps we'd
    be more comfortable speaking inside.
    Hugo: I'm Hugo of the Karaya Clan.
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Thomas: This way, please.  Don't mind the mess.
    Sgt. Joe: It could be worse.
    Thomas: Now then.  What kind of shop is the Karaya Clan interested in opening
    here?
    Hugo: Shop?
    Thomas: You did come to discuss opening a shop at the castle, didn't you?
    Hugo: ?
    Thomas: Cecile, I thought you said they were trade envoys.
    Cecile: I did.  Errr... They said they came from Karaya, so naturally I
    thought...
    Thomas: Oh no...
    Lilly: Could someone please come to the point?
    Thomas: I apologize.  You see, I seek people from anywhere at all who would
    open shops here.  That is my plan to restore the castle coffers.  I am
    advertising this place as a free-commerce centerpoint.  Haven't you heard
    anything at all about it?
    Hugo: Not me.
    Lilly: Not once.
    Thomas: I am terribly sorry for this misunderstanding.  The stench of failure...
    Cecile: Lord Thomas, don't give up yet.  You've just begun.
    Thomas: Thank you, Cecile.
    Sgt. Joe: How about we get to the reason we're really here?
    Thomas: Yes, of course.  Do proceed.
    Hugo: We're checking into what became of the Flame Champion.  We came because
    of the rumor that his Fire Bringer are in hiding at this castle.
    Sebastian: Heavens, no!  What a nasty rumor!  Those marauding Fire Bringer are
    the filth of Grassland!  If the Zexen Council found that we were harboring them
    here, I shudder to think what they might do...  Is this rumor spreading?
    Lilly: It's obviously spreading faster than your idea to solicit vendors.
    Sebastian: This is all very disturbing!  I've warned you, Lord Thomas.  You
    just don't see the problem.  Give up this free-commerce nonsense.  Success
    looks utterly impossible.
    Thomas: Sorry, but we don't know anything about this Flame Champion fellow.  I
    assure you that no Fire Bringer are hiding here.  But I do wish you'd stay and
    rest.  You've journey far, and all who visit should feel welcome.
    Sebastian: But Lord Thomas, what of our image?  Even among the Grassland Clans,
    Karaya is known to be a warrior tribe.
    Thomas: Sebastian, they are our guests.  I want you to attend to them as such.
    Sebastian: As you wish.
    
    [They head to the inn]
    
    Sebastian: This is the counter for the inn.  When you are ready to retire, tell
    me and I shall show you to your chambers.
    Samus: This is an inn?
    Sebastian: Yes, we use some castle rooms as an inn.  Lord Thomas has given
    instructions to let you stay free of charge.  Should you care to know, the real
    price is 50 potch per guest.
    Lilly: They're really desperate...
    Sgt. Joe: Our inquiry has come to a peaceful end, but it's an end all the same.
    
    [Choose to stay]
    
    Sebastian: Welcome!  Oh, it's you...  You've come to stay?
    
    [Choose to pay]
    
    Sebastian: That is... most admirable!  Such integrity!  Follow me to the best
    chambers.
    
    [Paid 300 potch, go upstairs]
    
    Hugo: Good morning, Sergeant.  Sleep well?
    Sgt. Joe: For the most part... until that noise started outside.
    Lilly: ......Then why did you have to wake me?
    Reed: But something is happening outside, milady!
    Lilly: I didn't notice, until you interrupted my beauty sleep...  You're up too?
    Was it the sound outside?
    Sgt. Joe: Only you could miss such a commotion.
    Lilly: You can count on me to keep sleeping.
    
    [Go outside]
    
    Thomas: What is the meaning of this?
    Zexen Councilor: As I believe I said last time, Zexen will handle its affairs
    as it sees fit.
    Thomas: But why surround the castle?  We have committed no crimes.
    
    [The group walks up]
    
    Sgt. Joe: This looks like real trouble.
    Hugo: What's going on this time?
    Zexen Councilor: There!  THAT is the problem.
    Thomas: What?
    Marshal: That child is the son of the Karaya Clan Chief!  Only days ago, he
    fled Vinay del Zexay.  We're certain it was him!  There's an official Zexen
    warrant out for his arrest.
    Hugo: What?!  My arrest?
    Thomas: Did you really come all this way just to insult my guests, sir?
    Zexen Councilor: Hmmph.  Think very carefully before you decide to give shelter
    to an enemy of Zexen.
    Thomas: What a morning.
    
    Hugo: How do we get out of this one?
    Sgt. Joe: The place is surrounded by ironheads.  I don't think we can run away
    this time.
    Lilly: How did you all end up with a warrant on your heads?  One would think
    you'd kidnapped a Zexen griffon!
    Sgt. Joe: Even that wouldn't warrant this much attention.
    
    [Head towards the manor again]
    
    Sebastian: That is why, as I've said...
    Piccolo: You've said many things.  Now I say, what is to become of us.
    Sebastian: We've not heard of any need to prevent your from conducting your
    business, no matter what you suspect.
    Cecile: Nooooo!  Lord Thomas has worked too hard for this to happen.  He won't
    back down!
    Juan: So long as it all gets decided quickly.  I'm hungry.
    Thomas: I'll make every effort to find the best solution for everyone.
    Juan: Look, it's the Grasslanders.  Why not ask them what they intend to do?
    Sgt. Joe: What might the purpose of this meeting be?
    Sebastian: Excuse me, but would you mind leaving and going straight to the
    Zexen Council?  Thank you.
    Thomas: Sebastian!  Perish the thought!  Pardon my butler.  Rest assured, you
    needn't do any such thing.
    Hugo: What is really going on?
    Sebastian: What do you think?  Didn't you notice we're under siege!  So long as
    you're here, things will not be peaceful.
    Thomas: Sebastian!  I can't apologize enough...
    Sgt. Joe: Never mind that now.  What is the root of your trouble with the Zexen
    Council?
    Thomas: As I said yesterday, I am trying to create a centerpoint for free
    commerce.  But the Zexen Council is not at all keen on the idea.
    Cecile: Poor Lord Thomas.  People are always picking on his great ideas.
    Piccolo: What will become of us?
    Thomas: Please understand, the right has always been ours to be merchants here.
    I only tried to expand that right to make a free trade zone.  But my father, or
    rather the Zexen Council, doesn't approve.
    Sebastian: Thus you may save our livelihood by exiting the premises...
    Thomas: Do shut up!
    Sebastian: What other course is there?
    Thomas: .........
    
    [Try to leave]
    
    Zexen Knight: We have reports that an escaped criminal is holed up in the
    castle.  Passing is prohibited now.  Return inside.
    Hugo: I'm the one you want.
    Zexen Knight: Are you serious?  A child like you, wanted by the Zexens?  Wait
    here.
    Zexen Councilor: Are you the son of the Karaya Clan Chief?
    Hugo: Yes.  I suppose you want to arrest me.
    Zexen Councilor: .........  Take a closer look.
    Marshal: Yes, sir.  Errrr, it's not him, sir.  I remember a different face,
    sir.
    Hugo: Huh?  What are you talking about?
    Zexen Councilor: I don't care for your attempt to impersonate a criminal.  Keep
    him here in the castle.
    Zexen Knight: Yes, sir!
    Hugo: What are you saying?  Wait!
    
    [Go back to the manor]
    
    Martha: I can't take it anymore!  Will sales ever increase?  I'm about to strve
    to death here!
    Juan: Your sales will never catch up with your greed, miser!  Your profits are
    more than enough.
    Martha: Your disdain won't get you a winning ticket, you know.
    Sebastian: Oh, dear!  What shall we do?  Our stored rations won't last much
    longer.  We'll wither away!  And once the attacks begin...
    Thomas: .........
    Cecile: Don't despair, I can protect us!  I'll show you how tough a garrison
    commander is.
    Piccolo: What garrison?  You're the only guard here!
    Hugo: Lord Thomas?
    Thomas: Hmmmm, I wonder... Yes, what is it?
    Hugo: We just came back from a talk with the Zexens.
    Thomas: Oh dear... Really?  The Zexens out there?
    Hugo: Yes.
    Thomas: But why risk your life so!  I promised we would not force you out.  Are
    you, um, considering what they said?
    Lilly: They sent us back here!  It's not us they want.
    Caesar: If they took you from here, they'd have no excuse to come storming in
    again to arrest you and spy on us.  They're pretty tricky.
    Thomas: Who... Who are you?
    
    [Caesar and Apple walk up]
    
    Caesar: What a drag it would be to get stuck in a place like this.  I won't
    stand for it.
    Apple: Caesar!  Why do you always speak like that?  How about being a little
    nicer?
    Caesar: Gotcha, App.
    Apple: It's "Apple," thank you very much.
    Caesar: I think I know by now what your name is.  I'm Caesar.  Okay?  Okay.
    I've got a strategist's blood and training, so take my advice.  Someone has to
    get us out.  Couldn't stay here even if I wanted to...
    
    [Scene fades out, they discuss stuff]
    
    Caesar: What you're saying is you don't want to hand over the Karayan any more
    than you want to hand over this castle.  But you're not prepared to fight.
    Correct?
    Thomas: Well, no, we're not.
    Caesar: Then this is simple.  What we do is get them out.  Once they're gone,
    the Zexens won't have any choice but to withdraw.
    Sebastian: Sounds a trifle complex to me.  Must we go to all that trouble?
    Caesar: What trouble?  Those rust magnets are only a small border patrol, under
    the command of a Zexen Councilor with a few guards.  That's not a siege force.
    They've encircled the castle to intimidate you.  I know sooner or later the
    real army will arrive.  But before they do, we'll send our hunted friends here
    on their way to Grassland.  The unit will have no pretense for being here
    anymore.
    Thomas: Right!  Well, it sounds simple when you say it.
    Caesar: Now here's what we'll do.  Gather around.  As for you criminals...
    Hugo: Us?
    Caesar: Who else!  Go prep yourselves for escape.  In the meantime, I'll
    explain the plan to everyone else.
    Sgt. Joe: So we're running away again...
    
    [Leave the screen, go back and talk to Caesar and Apple]
    
    Caesar: Finished getting ready?
    Hugo: Yes, we're ready.
    Caesar: Then you'd better rest up inside.  We've still got things to do out
    here.
    Sgt. Joe: Very well then.  We'll go to the inn and stay out of your way.
    
    [They start to walk off, except Hugo]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo...?
    Hugo: Tell me, Lord Thomas has ties with Zexen ironheads, right?  So why is he
    protecting us from them?
    Caesar: Why not ask him that yourself?
    Hugo: I'll do that.
    
    [Go find Thomas]
    
    Hugo: Um...
    Thomas: I'm a little busy at the moment.
    
    [Thomas walks off, so head to the inn]
    
    Sebastian: Ah, you've returned.  You'll find your chambers ready, as I had
    little else to do.  Sleep now, and awake tomorrow full of vigor.
    Hugo: Night.
    
    [The night passes]
    
    Lilly: What a mess we've gotten into.
    Reed: That story about Fire Bringer being here was just a rumor.
    Samus: I never believed it anyway...
    Sgt. Joe: Whatever the truth is about that, we can't investigate here any
    further.  We'll have to go along with the escape plan.
    Hugo: Fair enough.
    Lilly: I've had enough.  I'm going to turn in.
    Sgt. Joe: Don't oversleep!
    Lilly: I know.
    Sgt. Joe: I doubt it.
    Lilly: I heard that!
    Sgt. Joe: Who knows how much she really hears?  Come on Hugo, let's call it a
    night too.
    Hugo: All right...
    
    [In Thomas' quarters]
    
    Thomas: That should just about do it...
    
    [Hugo walks in]
    
    Thomas: Why the long face, boy?  Can't sleep?  If something's bother you, tell
    Sebastian.  He'll fix it for you.
    Hugo: Lord Thomas... Why are you helping to keep the ironheads away from us?
    Thomas: Excuse me?
    Hugo: I don't get it... You have connections with the ironheads, and we're just
    Grasslanders.
    Thomas: "Ironheads"?  You mean knights?  I supposed if you must think of me as
    one or the other, I have more Zexen ties, from my father's side.  What you
    don't know is that my mother is from the Outlands, in the north.  I lived there
    for a long time, so I rarely feel Zexen.
    Hugo: So that's why...
    Thomas: No, that's not really why.
    Hugo: ?
    Thomas: It's because I want this castle to be a place where people can come and
    go freely.  Anyone from anywhere.
    Hugo: You want to make the Zexens your allies?
    Thomas: I don't desire them as enemies.  I merely feel it's time that we learn
    about one another firsthand.  And treat each other as equals.
    Hugo: .........  I... can't.  They killed Lulu.  I must... do what I feel is
    right.
    Thomas: I see.  Lulu was a close friend?
    Hugo: He was.
    Thomas: My mother was killed, too.  By a group of Grassland bandits.
    Hugo: From Grassland?
    Thomas: Hugo, it is... late.  Go and get some rest.
    Hugo: See you tomorrow, Lord Thomas.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Sgt. Joe: There you are.  All set?
    Hugo: Yep, ready.
    Reed: Milady, please!  It's morning!
    Lilly: Who said... we wake... get... this early... out?
    Samus: (Why do we bother warning her?)
    Sgt. Joe: Qua...
    
    [Leave the inn, find Caesar]
    
    Caesar: Good, you're here.  I timed everything, so get out as soon as I give
    the signal.
    Sgt. Joe: And how do we get out, exactly?
    Caesar: Just keep going down this path.  Shouldn't be a problem.  The
    Councilor's marshals will be distracted elsewhere; I expect the knights to pull
    back soon.  The question is, are you ready?
    Hugo: On your signal.
    Caesar: Things should get rolling pretty soon.
    Cecile: Ooh!  I'm getting anxious!  Deep breaths, deep breaths...
    
    [Battle states]
    
    Caesar: Whatever happens, don't give up this gate.
    Thomas: I understand.
    ZxnCounclr: I was certain they'd wave the white flag right away.  Hmm.
    ZexnMarshl: Ah, yes, sir.
    
    ZexInf: Sir!  A number of soldiers have appeared at the gates of Budehuc.
    ZexnCounclr: Soldiers?  How could that be?
    ZexnMarshll: It's a mystery to me, sir.
    ZexnCounclr: It's always something.... Send a detachment to find out what's
    happening.
    
    Thomas: They're here.
    Cecile: Don't worry, Thomas.  This is my castle, too!  I don't intend to let it
    be taken.
    Piccolo: Ho ho ho ho.
    
    ZxnInf: Councilor, a message from the Zexen Council!
    ZxnCounclr: What is it?
    ZxnInf: Councilor, a notice of prosecution has been filed against you, sir!
    ZxnCounclr: Notice of prosecution?  Pathetic.  Naturally, one of my jealous
    colleagues wanted to take over my responsibilities here...
    ZxnInf: Sir, no... The notice was filed by the Zexen Knights.
    ZxnCounclr: WHAT?!
    
    [Caesar and Hugo show up]
    
    Caesar: This is our chance to go!
    Sgt. Joe: "Our"?
    Caesar: We're going with you.  Did you think I would stay in a hole of a place
    like this forever?
    Cecile: Stick it to them, Hugo!  You too, Sergeant!
    Sgt. Joe: Sure thing.  See you later.
    Cecile: When things get back to normal, I hope you come back to visit!  You
    could even open a shop...
    Hugo: Er... that's a decision for my mother to make.
    Lilly: Heeeeeeere we go!
    
    [Battle ends for now, group heads to Yaza Plain some more battles happen, party
    wins]
    
    Apple: I'm glad we've gotten this far away, but oooh, my legs are killing me!
    Caesar: My good Apple, if you continue to be a bookworm, your legs will atrophy
    and fall off.
    Apple: What would I do without your pleasantries?
    Sgt. Joe: We escaped safely, but how safe is the castle?
    Caesar: I took steps to slow down the Zexens, but in the end, it depends on how
    badly they want to proceed.  Everyone has to fend for themselves.  No lives
    come with a safety guarantee.  We have to protect ourselves.
    Hugo: But...................  No, this is true...
    Apple: Caesar, are there any other passages you'd like to recite from your
    father's writings?
    Caesar: Apple!  You didn't have to say that.
    Apple: Now we're even.
    Lilly: Where to next?  We don't have any leads.  No money, either.
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Caesar: Sergeant, we're going to visit your village.
    Sgt. Joe: Any particular reason?
    Apple: I have a reason.  I'm gathering knowledge on cultures from all over
    Grassland and Zexen.
    Sgt. Joe: It is only a simple village.  There isn't anything there to collect.
    Apple: It may seem that way to you.
    Caesar: Anyway, that's where we're headed.  We'll go our separate ways for now
    and look forward to meeting again when the time comes.
    Hugo: Farewell, then.
    Sgt. Joe: As for us...
    
    [Head to the Great Hollow]
    
    Sgt. Joe: So the story about Fire Bringer at Lake Castle wasn't true?
    Lilly: That's what it looks like.  But what's worse is that we have no new
    clues.
    Reed: If that's the case, milady, may I suggest we return to Tinto?
    Lilly: You most certainly may not!
    Reed: But milady!
    Lilly: Don't nauseate me.  We will track the Fire Bringer and those underground
    magicians.  After that, we might return.
    Reed: Is there no chance for time off?
    Samus: We won't get far with the few potch we have left.  We need to meet a
    trader from Tinto and work out a deal.
    Lilly: Money?  Very well.  That is a consideration.  Listen, Hugo.  I have to
    go tend to business.  Don't leave here before I get back, even if new
    information comes in.  I'm counting on you, all right?
    Hugo: What?  Why do I have to follow your orders?
    Lilly: You don't, really... I'm asking for a favor.  We're travelmates, you and
    I.  Remember that.  Let's go.  Where is this caravan?
    Samus: At Brass Castle, I expect.
    Lilly: Then that's where we're going.  Now don't go leaving without me-don't
    you dare!  Travelmates stick together, you know?
    Sgt. Joe: Travelmates...
    
    [Lilly leaves, finally]
    
    Sgt. Joe: That girl's been gone a week.  Think she'll ever come back?
    Hugo: Her?  She's not very consistent.
    Sgt. Joe: I noticed that.  Anyway, we can't waste much more time here.  It's
    hard to be helpful like this.  Clan Chief Lucia, Jimba, Beecham, the Lizard
    Clan fighters... with them gone, we're useless here.
    
    [Head to Brass Castle]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Don't forget we're fugitives here.  Keep a low profile.
    Hugo: That'll be harder for you than for me.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, did you say something?
    Hugo: Nope, wasn't me!
    Sgt. Joe: Glad to hear it.  Now where might that Lilly have wandered off to?
    
    [Find two strange men]
    
    Mua: How many times do I have to say something before you understand?  We will
    not find the Flame Champion in Zexen.
    Hallec: Why not?  Flame Champion is South.  So I come south.
    Mua: .........  This land is not the one he fought to protect.  He and his Fire
    Bringer protected the peace and beauty of the Grassland.  This is...  Hey!
    Where
    are you going
    
    [Hallec comes up to your group]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Whoa!
    Hallec: You smell like... earth.  You smell like... good.
    Hugo: The Sergeant smells "good"?
    Sgt. Joe: What do-Me?!
    Hallec: Pardons.  Your smell I know.  Karayan.
    Mua: Look sharp!  There's trouble ahead!
    
    [Leo and Roland come out]
    
    Mua: Hallec!  Are you sure you've done nothing to earn the wrath of the Zexens?
    Hallec: No thing.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, look!  It's them!
    Hugo: Sergeant, run!
    Sgt. Joe: Caesar would agree.
    
    [Hugo and Sgt. Joe take off]
    
    Hallec: I go too.
    
    [Hallec goes after them]
    
    Mua: Will you listen to no one?
    
    [Mua follows]
    
    Leo: They vanished.  But it was them.  I know it.
    Roland: Leo, we don't have time to go chasing after rats.
    Leo: Vile Grassies.  They make my insides roil with bile.  But you are right.
    For now.
    
    [Outside Brass Castle]
    
    Hugo: .........
    Sgt. Joe: They're...not...following...
    Hallec: They don't know real fight.
    Mua: Hallec!  Don't do that again!
    Hugo: You two are looking for the Flame Champion?
    Mua: So you overheard us.  Yes, we are pursuing the Flame Champion story.  That
    led us here.
    Sgt. Joe: You call it a story?
    Mua: Let's just say I wish to meet him.  Hallec comes for the sake of his own
    village.  We met along the way and traveled here together.
    Hallec: My people need Champion's help.
    Sgt. Joe: Do you think you know where to find him?
    Hallec: Do not know.
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Mua: Many of my comrades in the Alliance of Free Knights say the Flame Champion
    is immortal.  If so, he is likely still in Grassland.
    Hugo: Then we share the same mission.
    Mua: If that is so, let us travel together, Sir-uh-
    Hugo: It's Hugo.
    Sgt. Joe: And I'm Sergeant Jordi.
    Mua: Hugo, Sergeant, I'm glad to share the road with you.
    Hallec: Sons, come.
    Sgt. Joe: How did I get to be his son?
    Mua: It seems to be the custom among his people to call any person smaller than
    oneself a son-including me.
    
    [Head back to the Great Hollow]
    
    Apple: Hugo!  Sergeant!  Over here!
    Hugo: Apple?
    Sgt. Joe: Has something happened?
    Apple: The Chisha Village is in trouble!  I had to go for help!
    
    Sgt. Joe: You can't wander into the Great Hollow dressed like that, especially
    not these days.  You'd look suspicious, you know.
    Apple: I'll keep that in mind.
    Hugo: What happened at the Chisha Village?
    Apple: Something terrible's happened!  That's why I'm here.  Harmonian forces
    are about to take the village.  Caesar's there now, but I don't know if he can
    save them without help.  Can I count on you?
    Hugo: Absolutely.
    Sgt. Joe: If any of the Six Clans are in trouble, it's only right that we go to
    help.  But how much good can we really do?
    Apple: The troop attacking the village may be smaller than you think.  I'm sure
    you can make a difference.  Leave word here and come with me.
    Sgt. Joe: All right.  We'll tell Luce.
    Apple: Then it's settled.
    Hugo: Hallec, Mua?  What are your plans?
    Hallec: Sons, I help.  I obey the code of villages.
    Mua: My Alliance of Free Knights has the same code: we shield the weak.
    Sgt. Joe: Let's inform Luce.
    
    [Go find Luce]
    
    Luce: The Chisha Village is under attack?
    Sgt. Joe: Yes.  That's why we need you to inform the Clan Chiefs as soon as
    they return-the Lizard Fighters here can't go without the order.
    Luce: I will inform them.  But must you leave so soon?
    Hugo: Ever since the raid on our village... I've been thinking about what I
    want.
    While tracking the Flame Champion, I made a decision.  I want to protect a
    place and people like the Flame Champion did.  That is why I must meet [Flame
    Champion] in person.  Somehow, I have the feeling that going to the Chisha
    Village will bring me closer to him.
    Luce: .........  I understand, Hugo.
    
    [She walks up to him and gives him a big hug]
    
    Luce: May my Hugo walk with the divine protection of the earth and wind
    spirits.
    Hugo: Wo-owo-wo-owo-wo...
    Luce: That was for your mother.  Go now, Hugo, and be safe!  Don't give your
    mother a reason to cry like me.
    Hugo: I understand.
    Luce: Hugo... you are Lucia's son in so many ways.
    Hugo: Really?
    Luce: I feel it in my bones.  Our Clan Chief is a Karayan hero.  As her son,
    you've got the makings of a hero yourself.
    Hugo: Thanks.
    
    Sgt. Joe: Well, well.  Our Hugo is determined to make himself a hero.
    Hugo: What of it?
    Sgt. Joe: Nothing, nothing at all.  I didn't say that was bad.
    Hugo: I knew I shouldn't have said it in front of everyone...
    Sgt. Joe: Don't say that.  I agree with Luce, Hugo-I see a great hero in you.
    Hugo: You're joking, right?
    Sgt. Joe: I assure you I'm not.  Let's go now.  Chisha Village needs us.
    Apple Follow me.  I know the quickest route to the Chisha Village.
    
    [Arrive at Chisha Village]
    
    Hugo: Look!
    Sgt. Joe: We're too late!
    Apple: No, there's still time.  But hurry.
    Hallec: Wwwwaaaaaaaaaah!
    
    [Approach the village, which is guarded by Harmonians]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Charge!
    Hallec: Waaaaaaah!
    
    [A few dead Harmonians later]
    
    Hugo: We're on a roll.  Who's next?
    Sgt. Joe: Down there!
    Hugo: Get ready, everyone!
    
    [Approach the fighting, some Harmonians come out, you win[
    
    Hallec: Who else thirsty for combat?
    Apple: Don't get too drunk on combat just yet.  We can't afford a wrong step.
    
    [Go further in]
    
    Hugo: We've almost fought our way into the village.
    Mua: We haven't made it yet.  Look over there!
    
    [They look up, Mantors can be seen from afar]
    
    Sgt. Joe: And there, at the back of the village!
    Mua: Harmonian soldiers to the front and flanks of flying pests to the sides
    and rear.  We'll be hemmed in between them!
    Apple: First take the ones at the sides.
    Hallec: And the rear?
    Apple: Our friend Caesar will handle that.
    Hugo: Let's go save that village!
    Hallec: Waaaaaaaah!
    Mantor Legionnaire: Tribal monstrosity!
    Sgt. Joe: Permission to land denied!
    
    [The mantors go down]
    
    Mantor Legionnaire: Fall back!
    
    [They leave, good riddance]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Now for the others!
    Apple: All we really need is for Hallec to give another yell.  I think they'll
    get the meaning.
    Hallec: Okay.
    Hugo: ?
    Hallec: Uwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!
    Mua: That is one way to say it.  I know another.  "I end the plight of my
    comrade by Sword, Loyalty, and Strength!"
    Apple: Hugo?  Sergeant?
    Hugo: um...  "Sergeant, let's go!"
    Sgt. Joe: "Charge!"  Or something like that...
    
    [Fade to the Harmonian side]
    
    Harmonian Soldier: Sir!  Their battle cry continues!
    Dios: Braggarts.  Just because their reinforcements were timely...
    Harmonian Soldier: Sir, shall we regroup and attack in greater numbers?
    Dios: The thought is tempting...  But I'd rather go home.
    Harmonian Soldier: Sir?
    Dios: We needn't trouble ourselves.  We've made our appearance for today.
    
    [The Harmonians leave]
    
    Sgt. Joe: What's this?  They're leaving already?
    Apple: They were probably here to measure our battle capability.  Why risk
    casualties just for that?
    Hugo: IS that all they wanted?  Grrr...
    Hallec: Waaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Apple: Thank you, Hallec.  That's fine, thank.  Hallec, that's enough...
    
    [Enter the village and see Caesar with Chris and Nash]
    
    Sana: It seems to have all worked out for the best.
    Caesar: Yeah, but this isn't the end.  They'll be back soon enough.
    Apple: We made it just in time.
    Caesar: Your timing was so good, I'd say you must have been waiting in the
    wings for your big moment.
    Apple: That's more your style, Caesar.
    Hugo: You, I've met you somewhere before...
    Chris: !
    Hugo: That hair.  Those eyes.  It was you.  You killed him.
    Chris: !  The child at the village...
    Hugo:  You took his life.  You took my home.  Why?  What are you doing in
    Grassland?  You don't belong here!  This is our village.  What do you care what
    happens to it!
    Chris: .........
    Hugo: Why are you helping us "barbarians" all of a sudden?
    Nash: Asults have their reasons.  You children who see the world in black and
    white will learn soon enough about shades of gray.
    Hugo: Out of my way!
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, stop.
    Hugo: Why protect him, Sergeant?
    Sgt. Joe: I know how you feel, but this isn't the way.
    
    Caesar: That woman is leaving the village.  Says she's following the advice of
    some fortuneteller girl in Alma Kinan.
    Hugo: .........
    Sgt. Joe: So it goes.
    Hugo: Sergeant, I still don't understand why you always have to stop me.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, you're the son of the Karaya Clan Chief.  One day you'll take
    her place as leader.  I expect no less from you.  What if Zexen found out you'd
    attacked one of their knights?  She fought for this village!  Who knows why she
    did it, but without her, today might have gone differently.  Don't pick fights
    with people we need help from.
    Hugo: So I should hurry up and get stronger, is that it?
    Sgt. Joe: No, Hugo, no... That's not it at all.
    
    [Talk to Sana]
    
    Hugo: Aren't you the Chisha Village Chief?
    Sana: I am.
    Hugo: Then why would you let a Zexen--  Why let that woman fight for the
    village?
    Sana: Why?  She wanted to defend us.  Is that not reason enough?
    Hugo: I... don't know...
    
    [Head outside and find some Destroyers, yay]
    
    Hugo: what is this?
    Albert: I thought something was strange.  And sure enough, I come to have an
    look, and here you are.  Been a while, hasn't it?  I see you haven't changed,
    Miss Apple.
    Caesar: Albert!
    Apple: I'm fine.  A little put out by Caesar now and then, but fine.
    Albert: Things never change, do they?
    Caesar: Com on, what do you want?
    Albert: Had to do a bit of reconnaissance.  By the way, I'm with someone else
    today who doesn't like to listen to me.
    Yuber: There was a woman in the battle with exquisite prowess.  I want to test
    her.  Where is she!
    
    [He looks around, not interested in anyone]
    
    Yuber: I don't see her.  Maybe the cowardice in Grassland was contagious.
    Hugo: Wait!
    Yuber: You have something to say, little soldier?
    Hugo: If you're looking for a fight, I'll take you on.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo...
    Yuber: It's always a pleasure to show up the ignorant and powerless... but today
    I've little time for such an insignificant duel.
    Hugo: Even if I am the son of Lucia the Karaya Clan Chief?
    Yuber: ?  I couldn't care less about the name, even if I had heard it before.
    Althrough I'm always open to new experiences...
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, stop and think!  He won't go easy on you!
    Hugo: He better not!
    
    [Duel starts, and you lose so badly before you get all the fun lines, but will
    record as many as I can get]
    
    Yuber: Make this worth my time.  I'll only use twenty percent of my strengths.
    Prepare yourself.
    
    You cannot win with just defense.  Attack me!
    So you're not worthy after all.  Wretched coward!
    
    How uninspiring.  A waste of my time.
    
    [Hugo wakes up in a hut, sucks to be him]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Good, you're awake.  Consider yourself lucky.  Your friend in black
    wasn't prepared to use much discretion.  Be grateful Chief Lucia's offspring
    are born strong.
    Hugo: .........
    Sgt. Joe: You must curtail your recklessness!  You do not think before you act!
    Hugo: Sergeant, I...
    Sgt. Joe: What is it?
    Hugo: I can't forget how Lulu died.  I couldn't even defend him!  It's driving
    me crazy!
    Sgt. Joe: I feel the same way, Hugo.  I know what you're going through.
    Hugo: The Zexen woman who killed him-she fought for the village... How am I
    supposed to...
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Hugo: How weak I am... Why can't I be like that... I'm...  I...
    Sana: Sergeant Jordi, may I?
    Sgt. Joe: Hmm?  Oh, you want to talk in private.
    Sana: If you don't mind, yes.
    
    [Sgt. Joe leaves]
    
    Hugo: .........
    Sana: While you were asleep, I talked with Sergeant Jordi.
    Hugo: .........
    Sana: The woman who fought for the village was Lady Chris.  I'm eternally
    grateful to her.
    Hugo: .........
    Sana: As I am to you.
    Hugo: ...Me?
    Sana: Long ago, I knew a boy like you: rash, wild, always stubborn.  Despite
    his faults, he because known as the Flame Champion.  You know this story?
    Hugo: Some of it.  I've been trying to find him.  I don't know where he's
    hiding.  All I can follow are rumors.
    Sana: If you met him, what would you do?
    Hugo: Well, I'd like him to protect Grassland.  I'm tired of our people being
    taken advantage of.
    Sana: But what would you do, Hugo?
    Hugo: Me?  ...What would I do?
    Villager: Chief Sana!  Harmonian soldiers have returned!
    Sana: I'll be there shortly.  Hugo, we can talk more later.
    
    [Sana leaves]
    
    Hugo: What would I do?  I guess I don't really know...
    
    [Go find Caesar]
    
    Caesar: Hey, Hugo.  Welcome back.
    Hugo: ...What are you doing?
    Caesar: At the moment?  Worrying!  Our reinforcements aren't here yet, but
    Harmonian troops are.  They look anxious to fight.  Chris is gone, too!
    Apple: Dios is in command.  I've met him before in Crystal Valley.  He may act
    like a fair-weather soldier, but he's intent on winning.
    Caesar: Worse, they don't think the Flame Champion or Fire Bringer are still
    alive.  That's trouble.
    Sana: If they thought the Flame Champion were here, they would not dare attack.
    Caesar: We're told the Grassland army will be here in half a day.  It might be
    sooner, but there's no way to know.  So we don't have much choice... Hugo, my
    boy, how'd you like to be our Flame Champion?
    Hugo: Me?  What?
    
    Caesar: That's our only choice.  It's up to you, and your acting ability.
    Hugo: All right.  But why me?
    Caesar: They say the Flame Champion looks young.  Probably because of the 27
    True Runes... Anyway, you're the youngest looking one here.
    Hugo: What about you?
    Caesar: Me?  Ha ha ha!  I don't have a warrior inside me.
    Hugo: I don't feel like much of a warrior now, either.
    Caesar: So if you're ready, then let's get to it.
    Hugo: I guess.
    Caesar: Good.  You're our only hope.
    
    [On the Harmonian side]
    
    Dios: Sasarai, Sir.  Let us see how easily the village falls today.
    Sasarai: Once we're done here, our manhunt is finished for this area.  We can
    return to Crystal Valley...
    Dios: I'd very much like to go home.
    Sasarai: Dios, what's this?
    
    [Hugo, Caesar and Apple approach]
    
    Dios: Are you here to surrender already?
    Hugo: .........
    Dios: Very well, but your silence won't keep us from entering this village to
    search for the Fire Bringer.
    Caesar: You needn't bother.
    Dios: No?  Why is that?
    Caesar: Hugo.  If you will.
    Hugo: Oh, right...  You have found me, [Flame Champion], the Flame Champion!
    Dios: What sort of pretty play is this?
    Caesar: As he says, he's the one you've failed to stop.  The head of the Fire
    Bringer, none other that [Flame Champion] himself.
    Dios: Bah!  You think we'll retreat just because we see this kid's face?
    Apple: More than 50 years ago, there was a secret agreement between him and the
    top powers of Harmonia.  An agreement of nonaggression!
    Sasarai: A secret agreement...?
    Caesar: My shiny Apple, you're sure of this?
    Apple: Most definitely!  Why do you think Harmonia hasn't taken any of their
    endless chances to move troops into Grassland?  It's because of the secret
    agreement.  Harmonia often makes such unwritten deals, do you not?  If all of a
    sudden you break the agreement now...
    Caesar: And the proof?
    Apple: My exhaustive research!  Any complaints?
    Caesar: None from me.  But they may throw out a few.
    Dios: What do you know of any secret agreements?
    Sasarai: There was such an agreement.  But it is long past being valid.  Or so
    I hear.
    Dios: Shall I send for confirmation?
    Sasarai: No.  We see the gravity of what you state.  But the continued
    existence of the agreement needs confirmation.
    Caesar: In that case, we deserve to have your forces pulled back while you
    check.
    Sasarai: That depends on whether or not this boy can prove his identity.
    Caesar: We tried...
    Dios: Can you prove it or not?
    Apple: You see, um...
    Hugo: My evidence will be the carcass of any one of your men.  Choose one for
    battle!
    Caesar: Hugo, knock it off!  We don't know who they've got over there.
    Hugo: I can handle it.  It's just a matter of stalling for time, right?
    Dios: How... interesting.  What say you, Sir?
    Sasarai: How about it, Dios?  Feel like a fast and easy duel?
    Dios: Hmm?  Ah.  Unfortunately, the sword I have today is just an ornament.
    It, um...  It doesn't have a blade.
    Sasarai: Is that so.  Anyone else?
    Harmonian Soldier: .........................
    Harmonian Soldier: Is this Flame Champion for real?
    Harmonian Soldier: Don't be a fool!  He's long since dead.  This is a hoax.
    Harmonian Soldier: But there were those stories about him beating whole
    legions...
    Sasarai: So much for volunteers.  I shall challenge you alone.
    Dios: But, Sir!
    Sasarai: Why such concern?  You don't think this little brat can beat me, do
    you?
    Dios: But Sir, if he is the real Flame Champion...
    Sasarai: Don't tell me you believe his ruse?
    Dios: Not at all!  Uh, I mean, maybe we should err on the side of caution, Sir.
    Sasarai: Bring it on, wee Flame Champ!  Or should I say "chump"?
    Hugo: You're not much bigger than me!
    Sasarai: At least I look over 30.  A minimum requirement for claiming to be the
    Flame Champion.
    Hugo: I'll show you what I've learned in my many years!
    
    [Hugo and Sasarai duel, this goes better]
    
    Sasarai: Still no winner.  If you are the real Flame Champion, why don't you
    use a True Rune?
    Hugo: Grrr...
    Harmonian Soldier: Sir!  Karayan forces have appeared.  Their numbers are far
    beyond standard reinforcements.
    Dios: What!  We aren't prepared for this.  Sir, retreat is... preferable.
    Sasarai: Agreed.  You win, this time, little Flame Champion.  But before I go,
    do tell me your name.
    Hugo: Hugo.  Son of Lucia, the Karaya Clan Chief.
    Sasarai: Hugo, is it?  Remember that, Dios.
    Dios: Indeed.
    
    [They leave]
    
    Caesar: Hugo, you did it!
    
    [Hugo falls backwards]
    
    Hugo: My heart almost leapt from my throat.
    Apple: I thought that little bishop had us when he mentioned the Flame
    Champion's age.
    Caesar: Here they come, the Karaya Chief with the pick of the litter.
    
    Caesar: That was a fine bit of acting, Hugo.  You're a hero of both the
    battlefield and stage.
    Hugo: I kept thinking about time.  Keep stalling, stalling...
    Sgt. Joe: From where I watched, you looked scared beyond words.  Glad they
    didn't pick up on that.
    Lucia: When I heard from Luce that you'd come here to help the village, I was
    worried....  Then I arrived to find you defend the village!
    Hugo: I didn't do it on my own.
    Sana: You fought for our village.  Your strength, your will-these things you
    gave us.  You should be proud of your actions.
    Hugo: Right, well. Yes, um...
    Sgt. Joe: Why are we talking when we should be celebrating!  This is reason for
    a festival!
    Caesar: Not another festival.  These Grasslanders...
    
    Hugo: Chief Sana, I'd like to finish our talk here.  If the Sergeant sees me
    without a cup...
    Sana: I could never quite fathom celebration after battle.  It seems more like
    they're trying to forget what happened.
    Hugo: After all this, I agree with you.
    Sana: Hugo... Do you truly wish to meet the Flame Champion?
    Hugo: More than anything.
    Sana: If so, what would you do?  Earlier, you said you would have him protect
    Grassland.
    Hugo: I did... but...  I want to meet him and learn how to be as strong as he
    is.
    I want to protect Grassland myself.  He can't always do it for us.
    Sana: If he were to hear those words, he would be overcome with joy.
    Hugo: Do you know where [Flame Champion] is?
    Sana: I do.  I will tell you.  Go and see him for yourself.  Then decide.
    Hugo: Huh?  I will  Thank you.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo!  Why are you whispering over here?
    Hugo: Hi, Sergeant!
    Sgt. Joe: Sounds like you will have a chance to meet someone very special.
    Naturally, you'll take me with you.  Right?
    Hugo: Yeah... Don't worry...
    Lucia: You are free to go, Hugo.  The rest of us will stay here to make sure
    the Harmonia army fully retreats.  Do you understand what an accomplishment it
    would be to bring the Flame Champion back to help Grassland again?
    Hugo: You can count on me.  I won't come back alone.
    Sgt. Joe: Now that that's settled, come join the festivities.  Or else!
    Hugo: Sure, Sergeant, I'm right behind you.
    
    [Later]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Good... morning... Hugo...
    Hugo: Are you okay, or did you celebrate a little too much?
    
    [Go find Sana]
    
    Sana: Are you ready?
    Hugo: As ready as I'll ever be.
    Lucia: Remember to be careful, my son.
    Hugo: No!
    Lucia: What's wrong?
    Hugo: You were going to do... that thing to me.
    Lucia: I see you are now a man more than a son... But you still must promise to
    be careful!
    Hugo: I promise.
    Luce: Hugo, the Sergeant is ready.  Who else will you take?
    
    Sana: Hugo, I shall now tell you the location of the Flame Champion Hideaway.
    Hugo: Thank you for believing in me.
    
    [Enter the Flame Champion Hideaway]
    
    Hugo: This must be it, what Sana was talking about.
    Sgt. Joe: You'd think a hero would prefer a less humid place.
    
    [Reach a weird circular thingy]
    
    Hugo: Look at this...
    
    [Hugo steps onto it and bends down, he then vanishes]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Wait:  Hugo!
    Wan Fu: What does this mean?
    
    [He appears in another room]
    
    Hugo: Where... am I?
    
    [Go further in and find Sana and Chris]
    
    Hugo: Chief Sana?  What are you doing here?
    Sana: I am the Chisha Village Chief, but I am also the lifetime companion of
    [Flame Champion].
    Hugo: Are you... his wife?
    Sana: I have been called that.  I was the only one allowed to come here and the
    only one allowed to be with him.  I wanted you to find the way here on your
    own.  So did he.
    Hugo: .........
    Sana: Now I will take you to him.  To [Flame Champion], the Flame Champion.
    Hugo: Oh yes!  Please!
    
    [They go to another room]
    
    Hugo: Sana............
    Sana: This is him: [Flame Champion], the one I loved.
    Hugo: This means we...
    Sana: Ah, it looks like another person shares your timing.
    
    End of Hugo Chapter 3
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Thomas - Chapter 2 [ChThomas2]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [In Thomas' room]
    
    Sebastian: Good morning, Thomas.  Today, you'll have to attend to the house
    yourself.
    Thomas: Oh, okay.  I'll do my best.
    Sebastian: Good luck.  See you later.
    Thomas: Not sure what more I have to do besides keep a journal.
    
    [Go outside]
    
    Piccolo: Hohoho... Thomas, are you out making the rounds?
    Thomas: Uh, yes.  You could say that.
    Martha: We'd really like you to bring lots of customers here.
    Cecile: Evildoers!
    Thomas: Did you hear that?  That was Cecile!
    
    [Run to the entrance and see Geddoe's group, some evildoers]
    
    Thomas: Cecile?  What's going on here?
    Cecile: Hi, Thomas!  I caught these mountain bandits!
    Ace: H-Hey, wait a minute...
    Martha: They look like bad news to me!
    
    [Time passes, explanations are given]
    
    Thomas: I see.  So, you're just passing through.  Well, I suppose people just
    don't know that this is a free trade area.
    Queen: It's a pretty good idea.  I hope things improve for you.  Good luck as a
    master.  Protect this place well.
    Thomas: I will!
    Ace: If I know of someone who wants to set up a business, I'll tell them about
    this place.  But don't expect too much.
    Thomas: T-Thank you very much!
    Joker: Well, take care.
    
    [Geddoe's team heads off]
    
    Cecile: They weren't so bad after all.
    Thomas: You shouldn't make such snap judgments.
    Cecile: I can't afford to let anything get past me.  A lot of bad thugs
    disguise themselves as innocent people, you know.
    Piccolo: Hohohoho...
    
    [Head to Iksay Village]
    
    Zexen Councilor: Now, come on.  Hurry it up.
    Marshal: B-But it's just that I had no idea there was Zexen territory here.
    Zexen Councilor: I don't need your excuses.  You're useless.  Now, where's that
    kid?  Hey, you!  Come here!  Take me to a castle called Budehuc.  It's
    supposedly nearby.
    Thomas: Uh, yes, sir.
    Zexen Councilor: Good boy!  Get over here, everyone.  I found a guide to show
    us the way.  Let's get going.  All right, boy.  Take us to the castle quickly!
    And don't get us lost, you hear?
    Thomas: Uh, yes, sir.
    
    [Go back to the castle]
    
    Zexen Councilor: So this is Budehuc Castle, eh?
    Marshal: Not a very typical castle.
    Zexen Councilor: What do you expect?  This land was left behind by those
    savages.  Right now, we need to find the master of this place.  I think he was
    just appointed...
    
    [Sebastian comes running up]
    
    Sebastian: Thomas!  Thomas!  Thank goodness you're here!  I received word that
    a Zexen Councilor's coming to our castle!  Oh, who is this person?
    Zexen Councilor: Thomas?!  Hm...?  Don't tell me...
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Zexen Councilor: Hmmm... I see what's going on.
    Sebastian: I-Is something the matter?
    Zexen Councilor: It's rather obvious why your castle looks so rundown.  You're
    out in the middle of nowhere.  Don't you have trouble with savages attacking
    you here?
    Martha: By savages, you mean Grasslanders, don't you?  How dare you.  I don't
    appreciate being talked down to by some lazy bureaucrat.  Maybe I should show
    you how savage I am!
    Zexen Councilor: Hmm?  What?  Now that you mention it, you DO look like a
    Grassland barbarian!  That could only mean....  Not only are you carrying out
    business without proper approval of the Council, you're also allowing savages
    to profit from it!  This is shocking, indeed.
    Thomas: Please stop referring to them as savages.  We have a mixed community at
    our castle.  This land is held commonly by Grassland and the Zexen Federation.
    Everyone is equal here.
    Zexen Councilor: I understand that's an arrangement here, but-
    Sebastian: Yes, it is.  So could I trouble you to leave us be?
    Zexen Councilor: No, I can't.  Your "arrangement" is over a decade old.
    Meanwhile, you've received funding from us, so we have certain rights and rules
    that must be obeyed.
    Cecile: Hah!  What you call funding wouldn't shoe a horse, let alone support an
    entire community.  We've been forced to find income!
    Zexen Councilor: What did you say?
    Cecile: You heard me.
    Sebastian: Uh, errr, don't mind her.  You're right.... You are right, indeed.
    Zexen Councilor: Well, then, by authority of the Council, I hereby give notice.
    Any business carried out here that is not controlled by the Guild is subject to
    the laws of the Zexen.  All business is to cease, and business establishments
    are to be closed immediately.  This order is also retroactive to all businesses
    previously established.
    Piccolo: Huh?  What do you mean by retroactive?
    Zexen Councilor: It seems that you've been carrying out unauthorized business
    on Zexen territory for some time.  Therefore, no business will be expempt from
    closure!
    Thomas: Y-You have no right to do this!  Our document is valid and proves this
    is common land.  You'd be sentencing everyone to death!  We'd have no way to go
    on.  The castle would fall into ruin.  Zexen laws don't apply here!
    Zexen Councilor: Well, well.  Not only is the master of the castle not a Zexen
    citizen, but he also thinks he's above the law.  You may cause a lot of trouble
    for your father by being such a spoiled brat.  As you are his illegitimate
    child, your mere presence here is putting him in a tenuous position.
    Thomas: Well...
    Cecile: Thomas...
    
    [The councilor and his crew go outside to leave]
    
    Zexen Councilor: I believe I've made myself clear.  You'll not be allowed to
    trouble your father any more than you already have.
    Thomas: Trouble him?  But of course my intentions are nothing of the sort.
    Zexen Councilor: What you're doing right now casts a bad light on him.  We
    couldn't care less about this property's past standing.  It's Zexen now!
    Sebastian: But we offer you legal proof that this land is open to all, even
    non-Zexens.
    Zexen Councilor: That parchment isn't worth the dust it's covered in.  Have
    your things packed and prepare to evacuate the premises by the time I return!
    Thomas: But, sir...
    
    [The councilor finally leaves, everyone goes back inside]
    
    Cecile: Snap out of it, Thomas!  We'll figure out a way.  We need to think
    fast.
    Thomas: R-Right... Thank you, Cecile.
    Muto: I have nowhere to go if I lose the woof over my head!
    Martha: I can't move now.  I'm too old tired to move.
    Thomas: Let me worry about it.  I won't let them get away with this!
    
    [Head to Thomas' bedroom]
    
    Muto: Oh, Thomas.  Are you going to sleep?
    Thomas: Yeah, it's been a long day.
    Muto: I see.  Have a good night, Thomas.
    Thomas: Is there something you wanted to talk to me about?
    Muto: Uh...  I'm worried sick.  I really love it here, and all the people too.
    I
    can't bear to think of any of us forced out into the wilds, penniless.
    Thomas: He's full of it.  You wait and see.  He's trying t6o push his weight
    around here because he usually can't.  He's just bluffing.
    Muto: You think?  Oh, my, that's a relief!  Thank goodness!  Whew!  Maybe I can
    sleep now.  Good night.
    Thomas: ....
    
    [The next day, at the entrance]
    
    Sebastian: Thomas!  Hurry!
    Cecile: These people suddenly showed up and...
    Thomas: What's the matter?
    Juan: This isn't a joke!  These guys came to the castle during the night,
    surrounded it, and put it under siege.
    Thomas: Siege?
    Juan: It's terrible.  I was going out on my morning walk and these soldiers
    stopped me and turned me away.  I can't believe it.
    Thomas: What?  What is the meaning of this?
    Zexen Councilor: As I believe I said last time, Zexen will handle its affairs
    as it sees fit.
    Thomas: But why surround the castle?  We have committed no crimes.
    
    [Hugo's group walks up]
    
    Sgt. Joe: This looks like real trouble.
    Hugo: What's going on this time?
    Zexen Councilor: There!  THAT is the problem.
    Thomas: What?
    Marshal: That child is the son of the Karaya Clan Chief!  Only days ago, he
    fled Vinay del Zexay.  We're certain it was him!  There's an official Zexen
    warrant out for his arrest.
    Hugo: What?!  My arrest?
    Thomas: Did you really come all this way just to insult my guests, sir?
    Zexen Councilor: Hmmph.  Think very carefully before you decide to give shelter
    to an enemy of Zexen.
    Thomas: What a morning.
    
    [Head back to the house now that the councilor is gone.]
    
    Martha: Never mind new shops-we old ones can't even carry on with business
    anymore.
    Juan: Well, things don't look too good.
    Sebastian: Ahem.  You see how it is.
    Piccolo: What do you mean?  What's going to happen to us, then?
    Sebastian: Well, you heard the Council speak.  But I don't believe your
    businesses will have to be shut down along with the others.
    Cecile: Who the heck has approval around here?  Thomas had worked too hard to
    make this happen.  There's no way!
    Juan: Well, I don't really care.  Would you just decide on what you're going to
    do already.  I'm starting to get hungry...
    Thomas: I'm trying to come up with the best solution...
    Juan: They're coming over here.  Why not just ask them what they're going to
    do?
    Sgt. Joe: What's everyone gathered around for?
    Sebastian: Um, I'm very sorry about this, but maybe it's best if you left and
    went with the Zexen Councilor, and...
    Thomas: Mr. Sebastian!  What are you saying?!  I'm sorry.  Rest assured I would
    never ask you to do such a thing.
    
    [Time passes, Hugo's group goes to the inn]
    
    Cecile: Um... I'm afraid they got cross.  They've come all this way to see us,
    and...
    Juan: They may be visitors.  But if they're just here to spy on us, that's
    different.
    Sebastian: Th-That's right.  T-Thomas...
    Thomas: B-But, I...
    
    [Go find Caesar and Apple]
    
    Caesar: Hey, you're Thomas, that master of this castle, right?
    Thomas: Maybe.  Who's asking?
    Caesar: I'm Caesar.  And this one's...
    Apple: "This one?"  How rude!  I'm Apple.
    Caesar: Apple, uh huh.  Apple, it is.
    Thomas: May I ask your business here?
    Caesar: We're following rumors, so we snuck in and hid.  But with all this
    hubbub happening, we couldn't resist taking a peek outside.
    Thomas: What rumors are you talking about?
    Caesar: That the "Fire Bringer" are hiding here.  Were those other guys trying
    to confirm the same rumor?
    Thomas: I haven't a clue what you're talking about.
    Caesar: You probably wouldn't tell us if you did.  Perhaps you started the
    rumor to distract the Zexens.  Or to scare people like us away.
    Apple: I doubt he considers us a threat.
    Caesar: ...I know.  Your analysis is devoid of any emotion.  I don't think I
    like
    that.
    Apple: A good strategist should operate that way.
    Caesar: Yes, yes...
    Apple: Just give it to us straight, okay?
    Thomas: Uhh-I'll try.
    Caesar: Let us help you out, boy.  We're on your side.  We're here to give you
    a hand.  We're not fond of the way things are shaping up around here.  Let's
    meet in the courtyard.  When all's ready, we'll leave the rest to you.  Don't
    fret.
    Thomas: Thanks!  I mean it!
    Caesar: Our pleasure.  See you later!
    
    [Head to the front of the castle]
    
    Cecile: So tell me.  What's this infallible plan of yours?  Do you really think
    something can be done?
    Caesar: Yeah, of course.
    Juan: Can we really trust you?
    Caesar: You don't have to trust us.  But if you have a better idea, then let's
    hear it.
    Juan: ......
    Caesar: So, here's the situation.  You don't want to hand over the kid, but you
    also don't want to give up the castle.  Of course, there's no way you can fight
    them, right?
    Thomas: Y-Yes...
    Caesar: Then it's easy.  Get rid of their reason for being here.  Get the kid
    away from the castle.  If he's what they want, why would they remain?
    Sebastian: Are you sure about this?  It sounds too easy to work.
    Caesar: Come on.  Those guys may be knights, but they're really nothing more
    than a frontier patrol unit and a few guards under Council control.  That
    wouldn't be enough to lay siege to this castle, but rest assured, the main unit
    will follow soon.  So before that happens, we'll take the kid into Grassland.
    Then there'll be no reason for them to be here, and the knights will be
    withdrawn.
    Thomas: I see.
    Caesar: All right.  I'll explain the strategy, so gather around me.
    
    [Time passes, Caesar explains]
    
    Caesar: We must work quickly!  Repair all the places in the wall that can be
    easily fixed.
    Martha: Then what?
    Caesar: Then Cecile will set up straw dummies up by that gate.
    Cecile: Will do!  I'm on it, sir!  Right away!
    Caesar: And then there's the butler.  I need you to write something out.
    Sebastian: I hope it won't land me in prison!
    Caesar: Don't worry.  You're just taking the castle master's place temporarily.
    Sebastian: Oh.  Uh... of course, sir.
    Caesar: And next, there's you.
    Juan: Me?  I don't take orders from anyone!
    Caesar: Lose the attitude and follow the plan, will you?  Yours is the most
    important role of all.
    Juan: Important?  Forget it...
    Apple: Do you want to lose the castle?
    Juan: Uh... No, not at all...
    Apple: The fate of this castle depends on how you do.  You should be proud to
    play such a part.
    Juan: ......All right...
    Caesar: That does it.  Thomas, I'll leave the rest to you.  Tomorrow it
    happens.  I'm going back to the lodge, so keep your eyes peeled.
    Thomas: Count on it!
    Juan: ...What a drag.
    
    [Go find Piccolo, Martha and Muto]
    
    Martha: Repair it, huh?  I'd say it needs more than that.
    Piccolo: Hohohohoho...
    Muto: Well, let's do our best.  We'll start at one end and fix things as we go
    along.
    Martha: ...I wonder if this is really going to work...
    
    [Head to the library]
    
    Sebastian: So, Eike-Where are the materials?
    Eike: .....I'm sure they were here somewhere...
    Sebastian: Please, my good man.  You must try to remember.
    Thomas: Mr. Sebastian, is everything all right?
    Sebastian: Oh, hello, Thomas.  Yes, everything's fine.  Leave it to me.
    
    [Head to bed]
    
    Sebastian: Now, you must get some sleep, Thomas.
    Thomas: But... I should also be...
    Sebastian: Not much more you can do now.  Think of tomorrow, and get some
    sleep.
    Thomas: If you say so.  Good luck, Mr. Sebastian.
    Sebastian: We'll need it.  It'll be fine, though.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Caesar: Hey, Thomas.  Did you sleep well?  We're about to start this.
    Thomas: Uh, right... ready.
    Caesar: All right.  Let's do it, then.
    
    [Everyone gets gathered for the pep talk]
    
    Caesar: Well, Hugo looks ready, so we're just about set.  Ready, Thomas?
    Thomas: Ready as I'll ever be.  I'll do my best.
    Cecile: Let's go for it!
    Caesar: Concentrate on defending the gate.  Don't let anyone in!  If we can
    hold them off long enough, they'll withdraw.  Wait!  There's more.  I can't
    defend your castle for you, so there's something I must give you.  Take this.
    Thomas: What is it?
    Caesar: Just hold onto it.  If you get in trouble, open it up.  The rest is up
    to you.
    Thomas: Whatever you say...
    
    [And the battle begins]
    
    Caesar: Whatever happens, don't give up this gate.
    Thomas: I understand.
    Zexen Councilor: I was certain they'd wave the white flag right away.  Hmm.
    Zexen Marshall: Ah, yes, sir.
    
    [A round passes]
    
    Zexen Infantry: Sir!  A number of soldiers have appeared at the gates of
    Budehuc.
    Zexen Councilor: Soldiers?  How could that be?
    Zexen Marshall: It's a mystery to me, sir.
    Zexen Councilor: It's always something....  Send a detachment to find out what's
    happening.
    
    [Another round passes]
    
    Thomas: They're here.
    Cecile: Don't worry, Thomas.  This is my castle, too!  I don't intend to let it
    be taken.
    Piccolo: Ho ho ho ho.
    
    [Another round]
    
    Zexen Infantry: Councilor, a message from the Zexen Council!
    Zexen Councilor: What is it?
    Zexen Infantry: Councilor, a notice of prosecution has been filed against you,
    sir!
    Zexen Councilor: Notice of prosecution?  Pathetic.  Naturally, one of my
    jealous colleagues wanted to take over my responsibilities here...
    Zexen Infantry: Sir, no... The notice was filed by the Zexen Knights.
    Zexen Councilor: WHAT?!
    
    [Another round]
    
    Caesar: This is our chance to go!
    Sgt. Joe: "Our"?
    Caesar: We're going with you.  Did you think I would stay in a hole of a place
    like this forever?  Get ready to head for the far edge of the battlefield...
    Cecile: Stick it to them, Hugo!  You too, Sergeant!
    Sgt. Joe: Sure thing.  See you later.
    Cecile: When things get back to normal, I hope you come back to visit!  You
    could even open a shop...
    Hugo: We... that's a decision for my mother to make.
    Lilly: Heeeeeeere we go!
    
    [Another round]
    
    Zexen Infantry: Sir, right now from the castle-
    Zexen Councilor: Do give me a moment of peace.  Can't you see I'm tied up here
    right now?
    Zexen Infantry: Um... yes, sir.
    
    [Hugo and Lilly make it to the designated spot]
    
    Hugo: If we've made it this far, we should be all right.
    Apple: I'm glad we've gotten this far away, but oooh, my legs are killing me!
    Caesar: My good Apple, if you continue to be a bookworm, your legs will atrophy
    and fall off.
    Apple: What would I do without your pleasantries.
    Sgt. Joe: We escaped safely, but how safe is the castle?
    Caesar: I took steps to slow down the Zexens, but in the end it depends on how
    badly they want to proceed.
    
    [Hugo and Lilly are gone]
    
    Zexen Knight: We have written orders from Brass Castle to cease and desist
    until further notice.  We will pull back and wait.
    Zexen Councilor: Nonsense!  What orders?  That ridiculous letter?!
    Zexen Knight: They state that the Councilor has made false accusations.
    Zexen Councilor: But I observed the Grassland fugitives within that castle!
    Sebastian: Thomas - quickly, quickly.
    Thomas: There are no fugitives at this castle!  If you don't believe me, come
    in and search!
    Zexen Councilor: Impudent peasant!
    Zexen Knight: Until the presence of fugitives here can be confirmed or denied,
    we must stand down.
    Zexen Councilor: You demon servants!
    
    [The Zexens leave]
    
    Cecile: They're retreating!  Thomas, see for yourself!
    Thomas: What a relief.  At last...
    Sebastian: I expect they will bother us no more.
    Thomas: If only that was so...
    
    [Juan's unit appears]
    
    Juan: How can we sneak to Brass Castle in one night?  This strategy is suicide!
    
    [The battle ends, next day, go find Cecile]
    
    Cecile: I'm so relieved!  That creepy Councilor left.
    Thomas: So he did.  Lucky thing.
    Cecile: What's the matter, Thomas?
    Thomas: Well, I hope that's the end of it.
    Cecile: I hope so, too.
    
    [exit and come back, head to the front and find Percival and Leo]
    
    Sebastian: Master Thomas--?
    Leo: I heard he was young.  But he's nothing but a boy.
    Thomas: Um, can I help you?
    Percival: You must be Thomas, the master of Budehuc Castle.
    Thomas: I am.  How can I be of service?
    
    [Time passes]
    
    Leo: I bring you news from the Council.  The first item concerns Durabum.  On
    behalf of Commander Chris Lightfellow, Salome Harras has taken up the
    prosecution of Councilor Durabum.  Haras is the Deputy Commander of the
    Knights.  The case is currently being reviewed.
    Sebastian: This is good news.  Good news for all of us.
    Leo: They're also reviewing the alleged joint ownership of your land and
    leasing rights for this land.
    Martha: See?  I told you.  There's nothing to be worried about.
    Leo: Well... I said it was under review.
    Juan: What do you mean there's nothing to be worried about?
    Leo: Plus, I relay a decision handed down by the Council.  Thomas, master of
    Budehuc Castle...
    Thomas: Yes?
    Leo: As of noon tomorrow, you, Thomas, shall be removed from your position as
    master of this castle.
    Thomas: Wh-What...?
    Leo: It means you're only the master until noon tomorrow.
    Cecile: What?!!  Why?!  Who says?!
    Leo: I'm delivering the message, not the story behind it.
    Thomas: Uh, but...  My father... That man...
    Leo: We'll come for you tomorrow at noon.  You'd best get ready.  You're going
    back to Vinay del Zexay.
    Thomas: I can't!  This castle needs me.
    Leo: Not any more.  We're proclaiming this common land as Zexen Federation
    territory.  The Council has made its decision.
    Thomas: This can't be!  This castle was given to me by my father.
    Percival: Thomas, your father, Councilor Lowman, has decided to disown you.  He
    no longer recognizes you as his son.  I'm sorry.
    Thomas: My own father?
    
    [They leave]
    
    Cecile: Not to worry.  I'm here to ensure everyone's safety.  No more wrinkled
    brows, okay?
    Juan: Talk is cheap.  Do you really think you can defeat all those guys out
    there?
    Cecile: .....
    
    [Time passes]
    
    Sebastian: Master, do you have any last minute ideas?
    Thomas: ....
    Juan: Why ask him?  He won't be master much longer.  We're running out of luck
    and time.  We've got to revert to how things were.  We'll have to sell our
    valuables to pay off our debts.  Then we resume out simple, quiet lives.  If
    this is going to be Zexen territory, they'll probably help us out with funding,
    at least a little.  Besides, we might get some rich kid as our next castle
    master.
    Eike: Juan...
    Sebastian: It's not going to be that easy.
    Cecile: If you don't shut your mouth right now, I'll shut it for you!  Thomas
    is the master of this castle!  I want it to stay that way!
    Juan: .....Right... Sorry.  He's still the castle master, until noon tomorrow.
    Cecile: That's not what I meant!
    Thomas: It's okay, Cecile.  Stop it.
    Cecile: No, I won't!
    Thomas: It's all right.  We've worked together so hard to get this far.  Let's
    not end in a fight.
    Martha: End.... Huh!  It's hard to imagine.
    
    [In Thomas' bedroom]
    
    Thomas: ....I think I'll go to bed.  After all, tomorrow, I'll be...
    
    [During the night]
    
    Thomas: I just can't sleep.
    
    [Head to the library]
    
    Thomas: You're working awfully late, Eike.  Researching something?
    Eike: ......Yes.
    Thomas: What is it?
    Eike: I'm looking common land issue.
    Thomas: Why now?  Isn't it too late now?
    Eike: ......I always finish what I start.
    Thomas: Very thorough.  Best of luck.
    Eike: ....Thank you very much.
    Thomas: Uh, you're welcome.
    
    [Find Sebastian]
    
    Thomas: Mr. Sebastian.  What are you doing at this hour?
    Sebastian: Oh, hello, Thomas!  I hope I didn't wake you.
    Thomas: I couldn't sleep anyway.  What are you up to?
    Sebastian: I-I was just preparing the journal for your to make your entry.
    With all this fighting, I just haven't been on top of it.
    Thomas: Journal?  I'm leaving tomorrow, so do you have to do that?
    Sebastian: Hmmm... good question... One never knows, does one?  Tomorrow's
    another
    day, and all that...
    Thomas: Huh?
    Sebastian: Never mind.  So, uh, I still have some work left to do.
    
    [Find Muto]
    
    Thomas: What are you doing?
    Muto: Oh, Thomas.  I'm fixing the wall, here.  If we're going to fight again...
    Thomas: Muto... Don't worry.  All this will end when I leave this castle.
    You'll
    all go back to your normal lives.
    Muto: You mean you want to...leave?
    Thomas: Of course not.
    Muto: See?  I knew you were staying.  Gotta fix these walls.  You'd better go
    to bed right away.  You wouldn't want to catch a cold.
    Thomas: Uh... Right, sure...
    
    [Head back to Thomas' bedroom]
    
    Thomas: Oh, Cecile.  What are you doing at this hour?
    Cecile: Um, Thomas....  There was something I wanted to ask you.
    Thomas: So.  What did you want to ask me?
    Cecile: Do you honestly plan on surrendering your title here?
    Thomas: What choice do I have?  It's not a voluntary decision.  I'd do anything
    to stay here, but...
    Cecile: But?
    Thomas: But... it's already been decided that I'm not going to be the castle
    master.  So...  I won't have anything to do with you or the Zexen Federation.
    Cecile: Then, then, why did you become the master of this castle in the first
    place?  Wasn't it your choice to come here?
    Thomas: Cecile...
    Cecile: Didn't you come here for us?
    Thomas: I wish.  Before I came here, I'd never heard of Budehuc Castle.  I was
    actually forced to become the castle master here, and I wasn't too happy about
    it.
    Cecile: W-Why wouldn't you want to come here?
    Thomas: I was happy living with my mother in the northern Outlands.  But she
    died about three months before I came here.
    Cecile: .....
    Thomas: There was no one left to watch over me, so from her deathbed, she
    confessed who my real father was.  He was the Guild Master of all the Zexen
    Federation's merchant guilds.  She told me to go tell the Council who I was, so
    I'd be assured a decent life.  That's why I came to the Zexen Federation.  I
    could have survived in the Outlands, but I wanted to see my father's face just
    once.  Can you blame me?
    
    [A flash back]
    
    Thomas: Uh, well... my mother told me to come here with this letter.
    Council Member: Oh, yes.  I remember something about that.  So, you finally
    made it, eh?
    Thomas: Uhhh...
    Council Member: Come to think of it, I know of a castle without a master.  What
    was the name of it?  Oh, never mind.  I'll think of it and make the
    arrangements.  I'll appoint you master of that castle.  You won't be any
    trouble there.
    Thomas: M-Master of a castle?
    Council: Once I finish the arrangements, could you leave Vinay del Zexay
    immediately?  It wouldn't be good for you to wander about here.
    Thomas: Uh, yes.... Sure.
    Council Member: Well, this gets rid of two problems at once.  How fortunate.
    Thomas: Oh....
    
    [Back to present time]
    
    Thomas: My father wasn't too happy to see me.  He wanted me as far from Vinay
    del Zexay as possible.  What better way than to make me the master of a remote
    castle?  I had no idea what to do, and I still don't.  I can't live up to your
    expectations.
    Cecile: Thomas...
    
    [The next day]
    
    Percival: Good morning, Thomas.  It's almost time, so we've come to get you.
    Have you made your preparations?
    Thomas: Yes, I'm ready.
    Percival: Well, then...
    
    [They move to leave]
    
    Leo: As of noon today, Thomas will no longer be master of Budehuc Castle.  He
    shall be returned to Vinay del Zexay in our company.
    Muto: T-Thomas...
    Thomas: Everyone... I know we've only spent a short while together, but I'm
    grateful for all of your help.
    Martha: ...
    Thomas: Martha...
    Percival: Well, it's about that time.  We're departing.  We've arranged a horse
    for you.
    Leo: What's this?
    Cecile: I, the commander of the guards of Budehuc Castle, will not allow Thomas
    to be taken!
    Thomas: Cecile...
    Cecile: Get this straight: You'll never take Thomas away!  Never!  NEVER!!!
    Percival: I'm sorry, but you'll have to get out of the way.  As a member of the
    Zexen Federation, you should know that it's your job to obey orders.
    Cecile: I don't care what you say!  I'm-I'm-the commander of the guards,
    appointed by Thomas!  So-So... Thomas-Thomas-
    Thomas: Thank you, Cecile.  But I'm no longer the master of this castle.  So
    you don't have to protect me anymore.
    Cecile: No way!  You can't just give in!  It's not right.  Your father made you
    come here, didn't he?  So now he tells you to go and that's the end of it?
    It's not... It's not because you're the master of the castle that I'm protecting
    this castle.  It's because-because you're you!  That's why I'm protecting this
    castle.  So, if you go-if you leave-
    Thomas: ....
    Muto: Uh, um... Can't we have him a little while longer?  Can't Thomas just be
    our castle master?
    Sebastian: And-and of course there's still the matter of the journal.  And some
    documents that Thomas will have to go over as well.  There are still many more
    things to clear up-so perhaps we could have another two or three days?
    Leo: I'm sorry, but we were told to make it today.
    Thomas: ....
    Percival: Thomas, we'll allow you a few more hours.  Take that time to say your
    good-byes and put your affairs in order.
    Thomas: .....
    Cecile: Thomas.....
    Sebastian: Uh, yes... I've been doing some calculations, and it seems that it'll
    be difficult to maintain this castle at this rate, so Thomas's idea of leasing
    out land is our only...
    Thomas: It's over now.  You can all stop this.
    Cecile: Thomas...
    Percival: Well, shall we go then?
    Thomas: I'm going to stay at Budehuc Castle.  I'm going to stay with everyone.
    I'm going to protect this castle!  You can go and tell my father that!
    Cecile: Thomas...
    Leo: Don't be a fool, boy!  Resist us, and we'll have no choice but to take you
    by force.
    Juan: Take away our castle master by force?  You'll have to go through me to do
    it!
    Leo: What did you say?
    Thomas: Juan... You guys...
    Juan: Don't be so passive, Thomas.  I hate that about you.  But what I like is
    that you're the first of any of our castle masters who cared about the castle
    itself.
    Martha: Absolutely.  The ones we've had up to now were such horrible people.
    If you go, I don't know if I could handle another strange one coming here to be
    our castle master.
    Muto: Woof!  Yes!  Woof!
    Leo: Cease and desist!  You're not going to resist the great Leo, are you?  I'm
    one of the Six Mighty Zexen Knights, you know!
    Juan: Cram it!  I am Juan, Bujutsu master of Budehuc Castle, and your talk
    doesn't scare me!
    Leo: ...
    Sebastian: Please, please... no more squabbling!  I everyone would be so kind as
    to leave, we'll determine our future ourselves.
    Leo: Huh?
    Eike: Just leave, before things get ugly.
    Leo: ....
    Percival: Leo, what say you to going back and telling them that Thomas is
    determined to stay here?
    Leo: But...
    Percival: If you keep swinging your axe around here, you'll only make things
    worse.
    Leo: I suppose....
    Percival: Okay, we'll go back without you, Thomas.  I can't guarantee there
    won't be trouble.
    Thomas: Nevertheless, I am still going to stay and protect the castle.
    Percival: If that's how you feel, there is nothing else I can say.  Thomas, I
    wish you the best of luck.
    Juan: Thank goodness they left quietly!  If I'd actually had to fight two of
    the Mighty Six Knights of Zexen, I'd be dead no matter how many fists I had!
    Martha: So, you're just a coward.
    Juan: Hmph.  In any case, our troubles are far from over.  Next tome, they
    won't come just to talk.  And the regular Zexen Army seems to be very close by.
    Thomas: Uh, right... Yeah.  It's going to be tough, but I'm sure there's a way.
    We've got to work hard!  For the good of Bude... uh, um... HukeHude...?
    Sebastian: It's Budehuc Castle, Thomas.
    Thomas: Uh, I'm sorry.  Bude-what again?... It's a weird name.
    Sebastian: Perhaps you'd like to give this castle a new name?
    Thomas: But there's, um, history behind it, right?
    Sebastian: There is history in the Budehuc name, but nobody seems to be able to
    pronounce it.  We have no choice but to change it. And you, Thomas, are the
    master of this castle, after all.
    Thomas: I guess I could change the name if I wanted, but what name would be
    better?
    Cecile: Orange Castle!
    Juan: Just make up any name.
    Thomas: Um... The name of the castle is Budehuc Castle!!  What do you think?
    Cecile: Yay!  Budehuc Castle.  Sounds great!
    Juan: Hmmmm....
    Thomas: In any case, the people of Budehuc Castle shall all join together and
    fight!  We're going to defend our home!
    Sebastian: Uh, yes... Of course.  Let's do our best, Thomas.
    Muto: Let's go!
    
    [In Thomas' bedroom]
    
    Thomas: Thanks to everyone, it looks like we're set to go.  Ahh...I'd better get
    some rest.  Yeah, that's what I'll do.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Thomas: Ahh.... I suppose I should get going.
    
    [He opens the door and finds Cecile]
    
    Thomas: Cecile, what are you doing?
    Cecile: Uh, uh... Thomas.  I-I'm sorry.  I...
    Thomas: what's the matter?  I think it's time you rested now.
    Cecile: Uh, uh... yes.  Um... Um...  Thomas, I'm so sorry!!
    Thomas: What's the matter, Cecile?
    Cecile: I'm sorry for saying those things this afternoon.  I was out of line.
    I've been thinking it might be best for you to return to Vinay del Zexay, after
    all.
    Thomas: Stop.
    Cecile: Huh?
    Thomas: I've already made up my mind.  I'm staying on as master of this castle.
    That's my final decision.  What you and the others said really touched me, but
    I think I knew the right choice even before that.  I feel like this is the
    first time I've chosen anything for myself.  And I'm quite proud of that.  So,
    Cecile... please don't worry any further.
    Cecile: T-Thomas...
    Thomas: Commander Cecile!
    Cecile: Yes, sir!  Thomas!
    Thomas: Let's do our best tomorrow.
    Cecile: I'll do my best!  And I'm sure we can win.
    Thomas: Everything will be fine.  Everyone's working so hard.  Besides, there's
    the plan Caesar left us.
    Cecile: I feel good about this.
    Thomas: Me too.
    
    [Time passes]
    
    Juan: It must be time.  Here they come.  Oh, there you are, Thomas-I mean,
    castle master.  Are we ready?
    Thomas: Ready when you are, Juan.
    Sebastian: They're making a move!  It's the enemy!  Thomas!  Cecile, Juan,
    they're coming!
    Juan: We know.  Just settle down.
    Cecile: Thomas.
    Thomas: Right.  Everyone, follow the plan.
    Muto: Let's do it!
    
    [Battle commences]
    
    Thomas: Everyone, you know what to do.  We need to buy time.
    Cecile: We can defend this castle!  Budehuc!  Budehuc!!  Budehuc!!!
    Juan: I know, I know...
    Piccolo: The clouds say the wind is with us.
    Martha: Wouldn't want to lose our home, would we?
    Sebastian: Most certainly not!
    Muto: Oooohoooo!
    Eike: ............
    
    [Enemy units appear]
    
    Zexen Councilor: They say I must leave this area, do they?  As if the Knights
    could give orders to Councilors!
    Zexen Marshall: Sir, try not to be too, um, emotional.  Sir.
    
    [When Thomas' unit is attacked]
    
    Thomas: Ret geady!  I mean head ready!  I mean get heady!  HERE THEY COME!
    Cecile: Garrison to arms!
    
    [A few rounds later]
    
    Percival: What now, Leo?
    Leo: Get down to business.
    Percival: Most definitely.
    
    [Another round passes]
    
    Zexen Infantry: Huh?  What's this?
    Zexen Infantry: Waaaaaieeeeee!
    Muto: Got 'em!
    Eike: Really?  Oh.
    Thomas: What happened?
    Martha: It's just a hole in the ground.  I never thought it would work.  It's
    so simple!
    Muto: Hey, that was one tough hole to dig!
    
    [Another round]
    
    Sebastian: Lord Thomas.  Ahem.
    Thomas: Hmm?  Oh, right-Retreeeeeat!
    Cecile: Yessir!
    Piccolo: Last one back to the castle has rotten karma...
    Martha: Well what do you know, the spoils of war...
    
    [Retreated safely]
    
    Thomas: Okay, I'm heading back to the manor as planned.  Everyone, be punctual!
    Muto: Okay.
    
    [They all go running]
    
    Council Member: They're running away!  After them!  After them!
    Marshal: Yes, sir!
    
    [They chase after]
    
    Juan: Darn!  They're coming after us.
    
    [Battle ensues]
    
    Piccolo: Hohoho....  We're doing pretty well here.
    Sebastian: Mr. Piccolo, we're going!
    
    [Head towards the manor]
    
    Thomas: We're just going to have to do the best we can right here.
    Cecile: Right!
    Sebastian: Let's hope for the best!
    Juan: Yeah.
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Marshal: what?  There's no one here?  What the--?  What is this?
    Piccolo: Hohohohoho....
    Cecile: Amazing, Mr. Piccolo!  Amazing!
    Juan: How come you didn't do that in the first place?
    Piccolo: Hohohoho... I only just learned it.  I'm glad it worked.  It's my one-
    in-a-decade lucky day.
    Thomas: Well, Mr. Piccolo, you won't have to use it again.
    Marshal: Hmm?  What the...
    Cecile: Hiyaa!  Get out of here!  All of you!
    
    [battle, and the group loses]
    
    Cecile: Oh, my...
    Juan: Wow!  How'd you get so strong?  Do you have a special diet?
    Marshal: I'm not about to lose to some country gang!
    Juan: Damn...
    ??????: Close your eyes.
    
    [A flash bomb hits and all the knights go down]
    
    Cecile: What happened?
    Sebastian: What's going on here?  Are you responsible for this?
    Thomas: Don't be ridiculous.  How could I bee?  Hurry up, everybody!  We have
    more enemies to face!
    
    [A battle is about to start, but the councilor arrives]
    
    Council Member: It's high time you people gave up!  If you continue to resist,
    you'll be charged with treason!
    Cecile: Grr...
    Juan: How many battles has this been?  I'm getting really tired.
    Muto: What I wouldn't do for another flash of light to strike them down.
    Thomas: We have to learn to defend this castle ourselves.  We can't depend on
    help from the outside.
    Muto: You're absolutely right!
    Marshal: What are you all talking about?
    
    [Battle begins]
    
    Thomas: W-We did it!
    Juan: But, how much more can we take?
    Council Member: Why, you...!  Hey, call in the next batch!
    Marshal: Councilor!
    Council Member: What the-
    Martha: You there!  Move!  Get outta my way, will you?  You can't get away with
    this!
    Thomas: It's Martha!
    Juan: She finally made it.
    
    [Outside]
    
    Council Member: What on earth?  Who is this old hag?
    Martha: Old hag, huh?  Well, you're not looking too young yourself.
    Council Member: How dare you.  You look like a bandit.
    Martha: Bandit?  We haven't done anything wrong!  I'd say you're the wrongdoer
    here.
    Council Member: This is why I don't like hicks from the Outlands.  By order of
    the Council, this common land is...
    Martha: Hold it.  First, listen to what we have to say.  That'll be quicker.
    Council Member: ?
    Martha: Look.  There was quite a lot of mayhem up there, but I did manage to
    track down Lucia and get her seal.
    Thomas: Thank you, Martha.
    
    [He steps forward]
    
    Thomas: So... as of midnight last night, Budehuc Castle was sold to Lucia, Chief
    of the Karaya Clan, by Thomas, the master of the castle.
    Council Member: S-sold?!
    Thomas: Yes.  So, this is no longer Zexen territory.  What you are doing has
    not been approved by Council resolution and is thus an illegal invasion.
    Council Member: D-don't be ridiculous!  You can't get away with that!
    Eike: On Caesar's suggestion, I searched all over the castle for records.  I
    finally found a document relating to the common land.  I believe Zexen was
    intending to give up this land in the future.  I think there should be no
    problem with claiming that right.
    Council Member: B-but, if that's the case, you'll all have nowhere to go!
    Thomas: Then, I'll read the rest of the agreement.  The amount of the sale is
    200 potch.
    Council Member: 200 potch?!
    Thomas: At the same time, Lucia of the Karaya Clan shall enter into a 200-year
    lease contract with Thomas of Budehuc Castle.  The payment for which is set at
    1 potch per year.
    Council Member: Wha...?!  Wha...?!
    Marshal: Please get a hold of yourself.  Are you all right?
    
    [Leo and Percival walk up]
    
    Leo: What is this?  An invasion into Grassland isn't permitted without a
    Council resolution.  You will have to leave the premises immediately.
    Council Member: Why, I never!  Hmph!  Damn you all!  I hate you!  How could
    this happen?  I won't forget this!  Next time, we will take this castle-as your
    enemy!
    Percival: I think there's something more important to deal with here,
    Councilor.
    Council Member: Huh?
    Percival: It's become known that a few Council members have been taking bribes
    from the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia.  These traitors are causing quite an uproar
    in Vinay del Zexay.  I don't see how you can remain head of the merchant's
    guild when you've upset customers so badly.
    Council Member: I don't-I don't know what you're talking about!
    Percival: Then you'd better hurry back to Vinay del Zexay to prove your
    innocence-before they come after you.
    Council Member: That's preposterous!  Of course I'm innocent!
    
    [He runs away like a scared rabbit]
    
    Percival: Well then, Thomas, we will be leaving as well.  Once the trouble at
    the Council subsides, it would be nice if you and the Zexen Federation could
    establish friendly ties.
    Thomas: Of course!
    Percival: Now, if you'll excuse me, Master.
    Thomas: Ha... Does this mean we won?  Does this mean we saved the castle...?
    Piccolo: Of course that's what it means.
    Cecile: Thomas!  We won!  We won!  The castle is safe now!
    Sebastian: Thomas!  We won!  Everyone... Everyone's going to be all right, now!
    Muto: Whaaaa.....!
    Thomas: Uh, um...
    Piccolo: Hohohohoho... You all did very well.
    Martha: Hm.  You were lucky this time.  From now on, you're going to have to be
    a real master and turn this place into a great castle.  A poor castle with no
    money won't do us any good, after all.
    Thomas: Uh, yes!  Of course!
    Eike: .....
    Juan: Hey, castle master.  We're counting on you from now on.
    Cecile: Thomas, let's make Budehuc Castle a place that can stand up to any
    castle!
    Thomas: Uh, right.  Of course.
    Muto: Yay!  Yay!
    Juan: So, things have finally quieted down.  I think I'll take a nice, long
    nap.
    
    End of Thomas Chapter 2
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Geddoe - Chapter 3 [ChGeddoe3]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [At Brass Castle]
    
    Ace: Listen, Aila.  Because of what happened back at Iksay Village, they might
    consider the Karaya Clan an enemy here.  Try not to stand out too much.
    Aila: But these clothes...  They're just so hard to move around in.
    Ace: Aila, you're always complaining.  Lighten up a little.  Those clothes are
    Matilda imports, you know.  They're expensive.
    Aila: Really?  I'm sorry.  But I still prefer the clothes I had before.
    Queen: You look cute, Aila.  Besides, this guy's holding all our money.  Better
    to have him spend it on you  than some useless woman.  Look at it that way.
    Aila: Okay, that's more like it.
    Ace: Thanks a lot!
    Joker: Captain, anything you have to do in Zexen?
    Geddoe: There's someone I want to see.
    Joker: Someone who can help us solve our puzzle?
    Geddoe: .....
    Ace: Anyway, Elaine is ancient history.
    Queen: Ancient history?  Like how long ago?
    Ace: Well, uh... um... a couple of months.
    Queen: Uh huh.  Who dumped whom?
    Aila: "Ancient history"?!  Pig!
    
    [Jacques walks up]
    
    Ace: Jacques, can you help me out here?  You're a guy.  You understand, right?
    Jacques: Well... I'm still pretty... new to... that sort of thing.
    Ace: O-kay...
    
    [Further in they meet up with Percival]
    
    Zexen Infantry: What should we do, Sir Percival?
    Percival: This is like a bad joke.  It may be a rebellion, but how many on the
    other side have ever wielded a sword before?  What's worse, they don't have any
    real soldiers.  We can't pit knights against a sorry enemy like that.
    Zexen Infantry: I see,
    Aila: That's... a Zexen Ironhead!
    Jacques: Don't do it, Aila.
    Aila: What?!
    Jacques: I know what you're thinking.  Just don't do it.
    Aila: But... they killed my people....  They're murderers!
    Jacques: With your skill, you should be able to take him out in one move.  But
    you'll die too.  I don't... want you to die.
    Joker: That's right.  If you seek revenge, think of a better place to do it.
    Geddoe: This is Zexen.  If you want to stay with us, practice some tolerance.
    Aila: Easy for you to say.
    
    [Group heads to Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Ace: We're back.  Back in beautiful Vinay del Zexay.
    Joker: You're so full of it.
    Ace: Heh, give me a break.
    Queen: So, where is this person you've got to meet, Geddoe?
    Geddoe: I'll find out soon enough at the inn we usually frequent.
    Queen: Well then, we should take it easy until this evening.
    
    [walk further in]
    
    Geddoe: .....
    
    [Go to the inn]
    
    Joker: So, are we planning to stay a while?
    Ace: Don't get carried away drinking now!
    Queen: On and on you rant.... Why don't you get us checked in while we quench
    our
    thirst.
    
    [Later that night]
    
    Joker: Where'd Ace go now?
    Jacques: Who knows?
    Joker: He's probably chasing women somewhere.  He's too much, that guy.  Don't
    you think?
    Jacques: ...To each his own...
    Joker: You think?  Hey, Jacques.  Care for a pint?
    Jacques: Uh, no... I'll just have orange juice.
    Ace: Quit trying to turn everyone against me, old man.
    Joker: Oh, uh...Ace!  Didn't see you there.  Come have a drink with us.
    Ace: Not now, thanks.  I have to tend to something.
    
    [Ace runs off]
    
    Joker: Something, or someone?
    
    [Elsewhere in Vinay del Zexay]
    
    Geddoe: All right.
    ??????: Well, the rest is up to you.  Do you know where to go?
    Geddoe: A cave in the north, right?  I've been there on a survey before.  You
    sure are careful, aren't you?
    ??????: I apologize for that.  Now, if you'll excuse me.
    Geddoe: ......
    
    [On the streets]
    
    Queen: I can't believe how much soda you drank.
    Aila: Huh?  But it's so good.  You should've had some, too, Queen.
    Queen: I'll pass.  I'm not really into sweet stuff.
    Aila: What the?!
    
    [Borus and another knight are seen walking past]
    
    Zexen Infantry: Then, we leave at dawn?
    Borus: Yes.  But it's still hard to swallow.  According to surveillance,
    they're practically unarmed.  What were they thinking at the Council meeting?
    Zexen Infantry: Borus, is there something wrong, sir?
    Borus: No....
    Aila: Grrr.
    Queen: Let's go.
    
    [They walk past and Aila attacks Borus]
    
    Aila: This is for my people!
    Borus: What?  An ambush?  You'll regret this!
    
    [Queen runs up]
    
    Borus: Hmm, that face looks familiar.
    Queen: It's been a while.  Look, we're not on a battlefield here, so how about
    we just go on our way?
    Borus: Looks like that kid has other ideas.
    Aila: I'm not a kid!  I'm Aila, of the Karaya Clan!
    Borus: Karaya?  I see....  From back then....
    Zexen Infantry: Sir Borus, should I call for support and have them arrested?
    Queen: What?
    Borus: Don't be silly.  How'd it look for a Zexen Knight to arrest some little
    girl who tried to pick a fight with him?
    Zexen Infantry: But...
    Borus: Let's go.
    Borus: It's not my style to apologize for anything done in battle.  But, I have
    bad memories of what happened that night.  I regret my immaturity, getting
    carried away in that battle.
    Aila: Butcher!
    
    [Back at the inn]
    
    Joker: The cave in the north, huh?
    Geddoe: That's what I was told.
    Queen: So, are we leaving right away?
    Geddoe: Yeah.  Once we get everything ready, we'll head up there.
    Jacques: ....
    Aila: I just... feel like I'm forgetting something.
    
    [As they go to leave Vinay del Zexay, Ace comes running]
    
    Ace: Hey!  Hey!  Wait for me!  Are you trying to ditch me or something?
    
    [At the cavern entrance]
    
    Ace: Captain, who would be waiting in a place like this?
    Geddoe: There's only one way to find out.
    Joker: It looks like some kind of rendezvous, but I doubt it's with some
    beautiful sorceress.
    Ace: Ahhh!  If that were the case, I'd be the first in line.
    Queen: Oh, brother!  Why do men have such one-track minds?
    Aila: All men?  Do you think Jacques is the same way?
    Jacques: .........No...
    
    [Further in]
    
    Aila: W-What?!
    Queen: We know you're there.  Quit hiding and come out here.
    Ace: Whoever you are, we're not here for a picnic.
    Joker: Hmm.  Well, we can pretty much figure out who it is.
    Duke: It's not as though I was hiding.
    Elaine: You won't find us wandering around wasting words on each other like you
    do.
    Ace: It's not my fault you lack conversational skills.
    Geddoe: Duke, what do you want?
    Duke: That's rather rude of you, Geddoe.  We're just working.  Doing our job.
    Joker: Working?  You mean following us around?
    Gau: Why would we?  You're not that interesting.
    Duke: Geddoe, I believe you received an order to return to Caleria.  I'd
    suggest you follow that order.
    Ace: Oh, that.
    Elaine: It seems you did get the message.  Well, I never thought an upright
    fellow like you would ignore such an order.
    Ace: I thought it was a joke, so I threw it away.
    Gau: What?!  That's insubordination!
    Ace: We're in the middle of a special mission.  That takes priority.  So, it
    isn't insubordination.
    Elaine: Special mission?  Haven't heard anything about it.
    Ace: To scout and stir up a riot in the High East.  The goal was to revive the
    Highland Kingdom, but it didn't go very well.
    Elaine: Who do you think you're fooling?  The High East Rebellion was over 3
    years ago.
    Ace: Yeah, but for some reason, there was never an order to end the mission, so
    we're still involved.  So there!
    Duke: How big of an idiot do you take me for?  Don't think for one moment you
    can pull off that garbage.  We'll drag you back to Caleria by force if we have
    to.
    Geddoe: We've got someone waiting for us.  No time for delays.  What do I have
    to do to make you give up?
    Duke: How does a duel sound to you?  This time you're not getting away!
    Geddoe: Fine, then.  I guess I have no choice.
    Duke: Ahhh, how long I've waited to hear those words, Geddoe.  Are you ready?
    You can't make any more excuses!
    Geddoe: Come at me anytime.
    Duke: At last!  We finally get to settle this!  Now we'll see who's number one
    in the defense force!
    
    [Duel ensues, Geddoe wins]
    
    Geddoe: Maybe now you'll understand, Duke.
    Duke: Damn!  I couldn't even touch you!
    Elaine: Are you all right, Duke?  You're pushing yourself way too hard.
    Duke: I... I'm fine.  It's nothing....  I'm impressed, Geddoe.  But this isn't
    the
    end of it.  I'm going to keep coming after you until I win!
    Geddoe: I'll be waiting, Duke.
    Duke: I'll tell you one thing.  This "hunt for the Fire Bringer" is not part of
    Harmonia's plans but is apparently part of that man's scheme.  I'm not really
    sure what he's up to.
    Nicolas: Well, I suppose we'd better pull out of here, Duke.
    Duke: I suppose....
    Ace: Serves you right, Duke.
    Gau: How dare you insult our leader like that!  Just because he didn't come out
    on top today doesn't mean I won't take you on myself.
    Ace: Oooooh, I'm so scared!
    
    [Further in the cavern]
    
    Aila: Wow!  Amazing!  So beautiful.
    Ace: That's strange.  Was there a ship there?
    
    [Salome and Louis come walking up]
    
    Salome: I've been waiting for you, Geddoe.
    Queen: You're...!
    Aila: You're an ironhead!
    Salome: Ironhead?  Oh, yes.  I am indeed the Zexen Knight Salome.  But who is
    this little girl?
    Jacques: She's...
    Aila: Aila, of the Karaya Clan!  I'll never forgive you for what you did to my
    village!  You burned it to the ground!
    Salome: That was very unfortunate.
    Aila: Unfortunate?!  Is that all you have to say?!
    Salome: The whole thing... was a plan gone sour.
    Aila: What plan?
    Salome: Too much to get into right now.  Geddoe, the information you and Wyatt
    sent me has been very useful.
    Aila: Tell me about that plan!
    Salome: There were those who were not in favor of the armistice between
    Grassland and Zexen.  Just prior to the treaty being signed, the chief of the
    Lizard Clan was assassinated and thus, the whole thing turned ugly.
    Ace: We were there when the Lizard Clan chief was assassinated.  We even fought
    against you knights.  Whose plan was this then?
    Louis: Well, it was certainly not ours.
    Queen: But we saw Chris, the leader of the Zexen Knights, there as well.
    Salome: Chris was with us at the signing of the armistice.  Even Chief Lucia
    saw her there.  Among the enemy is someone who possesses powerful magic.  The
    power to create illusions.
    Joker: Are you saying what we saw wasn't real?  I've never heard of such magic.
    Jacques: Footsteps...
    Ace: What is that, Jacques?
    Jacques: The knights we saw at the Lizard Clan didn't make any sounds when they
    walked.  No footsteps.
    Ace: Come to think of it, you said that at the time.  So those knights weren't
    real?  The pain we felt when we fought them sure was.
    Salome: After that, the Lizard Clan was in upheaval, and... it shames me to
    admit
    this, but...our knights went on a rampage against the Karaya Clan...  This is
    behavior that we never allow.  I can feel the power of someone in the shadows
    even here.
    Aila: Then, that woman...  That sorceress was responsible...
    Joker: Not just the sorceress we saw, but also the masked bishop.  I'm starting
    to get the picture.
    Salome: Geddoe... I am sure that you were aware of all this.
    Geddoe: Yes.  But I didn't come all the way out here to meet with you just so
    you could tell me something I already know.  Tell me something new, Salome.
    Salome: All right.  If the enemy is a Harmonian bishop, we can expect an
    eventual invasion by the Harmonian Regular Army.  If that happens, Grassland as
    we know it will be conquered in the blink of an eye.
    Joker: And then we have the Zexens.
    Salome: Yes.  Harmonia probably considers us, the Zexen Federation, with our
    mere few decades of independence, as no more than an offshoot of a Grassland
    tribe.  However, within the Council are people who are pushing us to make a
    secret pact with Harmonia, with the aim of splitting up Grassland between
    Harmonia and Zexen.
    Queen: Hm.  Powerful people are all like that.  The greater their power, the
    narrower their vision.
    Salome: Not everyone on the Council is that way, but more and more members are
    being swayed.  We can't allow anyone anywhere to scheme up wars for their own
    selfish reasons.  First, I'll ask the pro-Harmonian faction within the Council
    to push for a treaty with Grassland.  Then we'll join forces with other
    Harmonian troops to resist the warmongers.
    Geddoe: Okay, so what do you want us to do?
    Salome: Come with me...
    
    [They walk outside]
    
    Salome: Can you see the castle on the other side of the lake?
    Ace: Yeah, where that ship ran aground?
    Salome: Yes.  The master of that castle has mounted a rebellion, and we Knights
    have been sent in to suppress it.
    Joker: You want us to help with that?
    Salome: No.  Exactly the opposite.  I want you to support their rebellion.
    Queen: What do you mean?
    Salome: Thomas, the master of that castle, has created a free trading area
    within its walls for Zexen and Grassland merchants.  Unfortunately, the Council
    sees this as a form of rebellion.  Of course, it is those Councilors seeking
    the pact with Harmonia who are accusing Thomas wrongfully.
    Joker: If they're not able to stop a rebellion at such a small castle...
    Salome: The power structure within the Council will likely change.
    Joker: I see.
    Ace: But we're mercenaries who work for Harmonia.
    Salome: If Grassland disappears, there'll be no further need for a Frontier
    Defense Force.
    Queen: I wouldn't be too happy about that.
    
    [They go back inside]
    
    Salome: I'd best return.  By now, the Council has probably gotten wind of my
    intentions.
    Joker: I'm impressed, Captain.  You're pretty well known.  There's the Lizard
    Clan Chief, the Karaya Clan chief, and now even one of the Six Mighty Knights
    of Zexen.
    Geddoe: I've been around a while, you see.
    
    [Back outside]
    
    Ace: Hey, Aila.  We're about to go.
    Aila: Uh...  Right...  This plot... I don't understand what it means.
    
    [Further in]
    
    Ace: I've thought about what we should do.  I'll go back to Vinay del Zexay to
    get our supplies.
    Joker: Sure, and to flirt with more women.
    
    [Arrive at Budehuc]
    
    Cecile: I, the commander of the guards of Budehuc Castle, will not allow Thomas
    to be taken!
    Thomas: Cecile...
    Cecile: Get this straight: You'll never take Thomas away!  Never!  NEVER!!!
    Percival: I'm sorry, but you'll have to get out of my way.  As a member of the
    Zexen Federation, you should know that it's your job to obey orders.
    Cecile: I don't care what you say!  I'm-I'm-the commander of the guards,
    appointed by Thomas!  So-So... Thomas-Thomas-
    Thomas: Thank you, Cecile.  But I'm no longer the master of this castle.  So
    you don't have to protect me anymore.
    
    Ace: The sweetness of youth!  I remember it so well....
    Joker: Hey!  Stop that melodrama!  Can you find anything out?
    Ace: There's Leo and Percival, two of the Six Mighty Zexen Knights.  That your
    over there seems to be Thomas, the master of the castle.  I think he's being
    dismissed.
    Geddoe: The plot that Salome mentioned hasn't been carried out yet, right?  A
    greedy power game is being played out in the Council.  There's no telling how
    it'll go.
    Ace: Hey!  Something's happening!
    
    Leo: Cease and desist!  You're not going to resist the great Leo, are you?  I'm
    one of the Six Mighty Zexen Knights, you know!
    Juan: Cram it!  I am Juan, Bujutsu master of Budehuc Castle, and your talk
    doesn't scare me!
    Leo: ...
    Sebastian: Please, please... no more squabbling!  If everyone would be so kind
    as
    to leave, we'll determine our future ourselves.
    Leo: Huh?
    Eike: Just leave, before things get ugly.
    Leo: ....
    Percival: Leo, what say you to going back and telling them that Thomas is
    determined to stay here?
    Leo: But...
    Percival: If you keep swinging your axe around, you'll only make things worse.
    Leo: I suppose....
    
    Ace: Well, this could turn into a guerilla war.
    Queen: That Thomas boy has a lot of guts!  He'll make quite a man someday.
    Aila: Hmm, I don't know.  I think he gave up too easily.
    Joker: Until we succeed in carrying out Salome's plan, we'll just have to buy
    as much time as we can.
    Geddoe: Yeah.  That doesn't mean we can get directly involved in this, either.
    Ace: No kidding!  This isn't a defense force job.  We've got to keep our
    identities hidden.
    Joker: If you're so worried about being found out, shut up already!  Those
    knights are coming.
    
    Leo: We still serve the Council, Percival.  Sometimes we have to do things we
    don't like.
    Percival: And something you need to bed a little, Leo.  I think Salome is up to
    something!  We should keep an eye on everyone.  You never know when someone
    working for the Council may do something stupid.
    Leo: I'm not very experienced with this kind of thing.
    Percival: There's no doubt you're much better suited to wielding an axe!
    
    Joker: Interesting.  We'll keep our eyes peeled as we go in.
    
    [Head to the Library]
    
    Ace: A library, huh?  Who would've thought I'd see this in such a run-down old
    fort?
    Joker: Must be such an unfamiliar sight to you.
    Ace: What?  Me?!  I may not look it, but I do read a lot.
    Joker: Hm.  Cheap adventure novels don't count.
    Ace: You think you're so smart...
    Eike: ...Please keep your voices low.
    Ace: Wha...!!  What they...  Where did you come from?!
    Eike: I've been here... all along...
    Ace: This guy's got no aura.  ...It's weird!  It's like he's not human.
    Eike: ...
    Queen: We didn't mean to disturb you.
    Eike: It's okay... This is everyone's library...  It's a pleasure... Captain
    Geddoe.
    Queen: How do you know his name?
    Eike: ....
    Geddoe: I don't remember meeting you before.
    Eike: To better protect this castle, I checked many ancient texts.  I found
    something explaining why this became common land... as well as the reason for
    the
    war between Zexen and Grassland.  And I found a sketch along with a record of
    the day that this was established as common land.
    Geddoe: So that's how you knew my name?
    Eike: .......Yes.
    Geddoe: That's some memory you have.
    Ace: I didn't know you had anything to do with this castle before, Captain.
    You should've said something.
    Queen: I'm sorry.
    Eike: It's okay... It doesn't bother me.
    
    [Head back downstairs]
    
    Ace: Look, we really shouldn't be walking around drawing attention to
    ourselves.  The battle is set for tomorrow.  Go find a room somewhere and get
    some rest.
    Joker: Yeah, the soldiers seem pretty busy with their preparations, but they
    might be coming back soon.
    Queen: There ought to be plenty of empty rooms in this place.  We just have to
    avoid being discovered.
    Geddoe: I suppose.
    Aila: Then we'd better quickly find a place to hide.  Any ideas?
    Ace: Find something quickly.  I wouldn't waste time trying to find a feather
    bed or a down pillow around here.
    Aila: No way!  Who needs all that pampering anyway?
    
    [Later on, in the tavern]
    
    Joker: Captain.
    Geddoe: Where's everyone else?
    Joker: Aila and them are asleep.  Right now, Jacques is keeping watch.
    Geddoe: Hm.
    Joker: I've been in the Defense Force almost 20 years.  I remember sneaking
    into Grassland by myself long ago.  This castle looks pretty much the same as
    it did then, only more weathered.
    Geddoe: ....
    Joker: I felt something was off, so I took a look at that sketch in the
    library.  I don't know when it was made, but something baffles me.
    Geddoe: ...When the common land was established, I was present, along with a man
    who now calls himself Jimba.  I was on the Grassland side.  He was on the Zexen
    side.  This is where Jimba and I said farewell to a man we considered a true
    friend.  I wanted this place to remain free of anyone's control.  That's also
    what our good friend desired.
    Joker: Friend?
    
    [A blue light can be seen from Geddoe's hand]
    
    Joker: Th-That's...!
    Geddoe: Yes, the True Lightning Rune.
    Joker: Then, your friend is the Flame Champion, [Flame Champion]?
    Geddoe: Yes...  But he disappeared.  I've continued to postpone my demise by
    holding onto this Rune.  Here-in my right hand.  I'm stuck in the purgatory of
    infinite life.
    Joker: ...  Captain... the destiny that you've shouldered all this time is
    burden
    whose weight overwhelms me.  As for the rune, and the sketch, I prefer to
    forget about all that.
    Geddoe: I'm sorry, Wang.
    Joker: It's been a while since I've been called that.
    
    [The next day]
    
    Aila: Everything's okay.  They're all gathering around the entrance to the
    castle.
    Queen: I guess we'd better get going, then.
    
    [At the front gate]
    
    Thomas: Okay, I'm heading back to the manor as planned.  Everyone, be punctual!
    Muto: Okay.
    
    [They all leave a councilor shows up]
    
    Council Member: They're running away!  After them!  After them!
    Marshal: Yes, sir!
    
    Ace: All right.  This is as far as you go.
    Marshal: W-Who are you?!
    Ace: No one of note.  And I take issue with the fact you'd chase after little
    girls like this one.
    Joker: Pick on someone your own size.
    Geddoe: Let's go.
    
    [Beat that group]
    
    Queen: Well, it looks like the little boy went toward the manor house.  I
    suppose we should follow.
    
    [Head towards the manor, fighting is happening]
    
    Marshal: Hold it!
    Jacques: No.  You hold it!
    Marshal: W-Who... are you guys?!
    Aila: Defenders of justice!
    Marshal: What?!
    Ace: Er, she's a mere child, as you can see, but we have real business here.
    
    [Another fight ensues]
    
    Jacques: Let's go after them, before reinforcements come.
    
    [At the manor gate]
    
    Thomas: We're just going to have to do the best we can right here.
    Cecile: Right!
    Sebastian: Let's hope for the best!
    Juan: Yeah.
    
    [They head inside, Geddoe's group approaches]
    
    Queen: It looks like they all got in the house safely.
    Joker: They must be planning to defend themselves from there.  Good strategy.
    Ace: So, it's just like we planned.  We can sneak in using the secret passage
    we found yesterday.
    Aila: This castle looks like it has secret passages everywhere.  Hope no one
    else plans on using them.
    
    [Inside the manor]
    
    Cecile: Oh my...
    Juan: Wow!  How'd you get so strong?  Do you have a special diet?
    Marshal: I'm not about to lose to some country gang.
    Juan: Damn...
    Queen: Close your eyes.
    
    [another fight]
    
    Cecile: What happened?
    Sebastian: What's going on here?  Are you responsible for this?
    Thomas: Don't be ridiculous.  How could I be?  Hurry up, everyone!  We have
    more enemies to face!
    Ace: They're sure keeping me on edge.
    Joker: They're doing the best they can.  If those guys break through here,
    that's the end of it.
    Ace: I'm just glad we don't have to stick our necks out that much.
    
    [The councilor shows his face]
    
    Council Member: It's high time you people gave up!  If you continue to resist,
    you'll be charged with treason!
    Cecile: Grr...
    Juan: How many battles has this been?  I'm getting really tired.
    Muto: What I wouldn't do for another flash of light to strike them down.
    Thomas: We have to learn to defend this castle ourselves.  We can't depend on
    help from the outside.
    Muto: You're absolutely right!
    Marshal: What are you all talking about?
    
    Ace: Oh, I can't watch this anymore.
    Aila: That bully's got my blood boiling.  I'm going to shoot this arrow...
    Ace: No!  Don't even think about it!  It'll give our position away!
    Aila: Is that a problem?
    Ace: Yes, it is!
    Aila: Oh, right....
    Queen: It looks like they made a move.  They've gone outside.
    
    [outside]
    
    Leo: What is this?  An invasion into Grassland isn't permitted without a
    Council resolution.  You will have to leave the premises immediately.
    Council Member: Why, I never!  Hmph!  Damn you all!  I hate you!  How could
    this happen?  I won't forget this!  Next time, we will take this castle-as your
    enemy!
    Percival: I think there's something more important to deal with here,
    Councilor.
    Council Member: Huh?
    Percival: It's become known that a few Council members have been taking bribes
    from the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia.  These traitors are causing quite an uproar
    in Vinay del Zexay.  I don't see how you can remain head of the merchant's
    guild when you've upset customers so badly.
    Council Member: I don't-I don't know what you're talking about!
    Percival: Then you'd better hurry back to Vinay del Zexay to prove your
    innocence-before they come after you.
    Council Member: That's preposterous!  Of course I'm innocent!
    
    [The councilor runs off]
    
    Geddoe: It looks like Salome's plan is unfolding.
    Ace: Mission accomplished, you could say.  That's one down....
    Queen: But it sure was tricky work.  I prefer a more straightforward kind of
    battle.
    Aila: But defenders of justice have to fight in many different ways.
    Joker: Defenders of justice?  Are you including me?
    Ace: Enough with your childish talk.
    Aila: Hey!  But it's true.... Right, Jacques?
    Jacques: Uh, I guess so....
    Ace: A happy ending!  How touching-and appropriate.  There should always be a
    happy ending!
    Joker: This isn't another one of your cheap novels, so don't get all soppy.
    
    [flashback]
    
    Wyatt: Are you coming, Geddoe?
    Geddoe: Yeah.  Our work is done.  Just as he wanted, this land belongs to
    neither Zexen nor the Grasslands.
    Wyatt: But why would he want that?
    Geddoe: That man has always sought freedom-freedom from his destiny, from the
    power of the Rune.  He wanted freedom for this place.  It may have been a mere
    whim, but I admire his simplicity.
    Wyatt: Yeah.  In the end I was taken by Grassland.  You stayed on the outside,
    and somehow remained neutral.  Many people were able to see a bright future.
    Sometimes I regret our immortality.  I hope that there will come a day when
    we'll think of it as a form of freedom, rather than a prison.
    Geddoe: I hope that day comes soon.
    
    [end of flashback]
    
    Queen: So, we carried out our agreement with Salome.  What are we going to do
    now?
    Ace: Swell, we actually do have a new mission.  Up in the Outlands...
    Geddoe: We're going to go see the Flame Champion.
    Ace: Huh?  I don't mind going to see this Flame Champion fellow, but is this
    really a mission?  Well?
    Queen: And how will we find him without more leads?
    Geddoe: I only need one.  I know where the Flame Champion is waiting.  In the
    east of Grassland, close to the village of Chisha....  If we go there, we can
    find him.
    Ace: How did you come to this deduction, Captain?  It's rather sudden, no?
    Joker: We're mercenaries.  All we need is our mission and our payment.  There's
    no need to get nosey about what's behind it.
    Ace: H-Hey, but...
    Queen: I guess you've got your reasons.
    Geddoe: I'm sorry.  There are some things I can't tell you right now.
    Queen: That's okay.  We all have our secrets.  We have things about our pasts
    we haven't told you either.  Not even the Defense Force knows everything.
    Jacques: That's right.
    Ace: Well, if that's the case, let's just go.  The first objective of the
    mission is to get information about the Flame Champion.  So, to actually go see
    him shouldn't be a problem at all.
    Aila: The Flame Champion, huh?  Geddoe, are you a friend of the Flame Champion,
    or something?
    Geddoe: Sort of...
    
    [Head to Flame Champion Hideaway]
    
    Ace: Wow, you think the Flame Champion lives in a place like this?  It's so
    strange.
    Joker: It's a better hiding place than some crowded city.
    Queen: They say the Flame Champion doesn't age, right?  I wonder how old he
    really is.
    Ace: Why do you ask?  Oh, I know!  You'd go after him if he was young and
    strong, wouldn't you?  OW!!!
    Queen: Lowlife.
    Aila: What did he mean by "going after him"?
    Jacques: L-Let's go....
    
    [Inside the hideaway]
    
    Geddoe: This is it.
    
    [Geddoe walks up to round device thingy]
    
    Geddoe: Hmmm.
    
    [Blue light appears and he's gone]
    
    Ace: Hey, what the?!
    Aila: Geddoe!!
    
    [Geddoe appears in another spot and meets up with Chris and Hugo]
    
    Geddoe: It's been a while, Sana.  Or should I say [Flame Champion]....
    Sana: More than a little time has passed, Geddoe.
    
    End of Geddoe Chapter 3
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Chris - Chapter 3 [ChChris3]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [In Duck Village]
    
    Chris: What now?  Are we heading to the Chisha Village?
    
    Nash: Er....  Since I've never gone this way before, I thought we should hire a
    guide.
    Chris: That's just great.  A guide needs a guide, eh?
    Nash: Better safe than sorry.
    
    [They go in and find Fred and Rico]
    
    Fred: Hurry up, Rico!
    Rico: Wait!  Wair for me, sir.  We have to pay for the room.
    Fred: Forget it!  Why should I pay when they were so rude?
    Rico: But, master!  That's dishonest!
    Fred: Oh!  Hello....
    
    [He goes running up to Chris and Nash]
    
    Fred: Have we met...?
    Chris: You mistake me for another.
    Fred: Are you sure?  Hmmmmmm, I wish I could remember....
    Rico: I know!  I remember, sir!
    Fred: Can you keep quiet, Rico?!  I'm thinking.  Hmmmmm....  Oh well.  No
    matter.
    Anyway, you don't look like you are from the Grasslands.  What are you doing
    here?
    Chris: We are seeking clues that will lead us to the Flame Champion.  Are you
    still looking for some sort of "evil"?
    Fred: I think we are both on the same track.
    Chris: Excuse me?
    Fred: I'm following a rumor, too.  So what do you say?  Might we tracel
    together for a while?  Strength in numbers with the same objective....
    Chris: Yes, we might as well.
    Fred: Then it's decided.  Rico, come here.
    Rico: What is it, master?
    Fred: This is... oops....
    Rico: Lady Chris, I believe.
    Fred: That's right.  Lady Chris.  Er, how did you figure that out?
    Rico: Well, you....
    Fred: Never mind.  We will be traveling together, so introduce yourself
    properly.
    Rico: Right, sir.  I am Rico, Master Fred's attendant!  Nice to meet you,
    madam.
    Chris: Glad to make your acquaintance, Rico.
    Nash: I suppose a few more able hands wouldn't hurt.
    Chris: Quite right.
    Fred: Well then, let's get started.
    
    [Go find two ducks by a water wheel]
    
    Rhett: These humans are hard to read.  Who knows what's on their minds?
    Wilder: You're right, brother.  Remember the girl with the squeaky voice we
    encountered the other day?  And what of the man we just saw?
    Rhett: Grak!  I don't see how the Sergeant puts up with them.  I couldn't.
    Wilder: Very true.  Uh huh.  Yes indeed.  What?
    
    [They turn and see the party]
    
    Wilder: Oh frap!  You again?
    Fred: Yes.  Is there a problem?
    Rhett: I wonder!  We've spent hours on a wild goose chase looking for evil, and
    you've come up empty-handed.
    Fred: Would you have liked it better if you had come face to face with evil?
    Wilder: Such insolence!  Watch yourself, knave!
    Rico: Unruffle your feathers, duck!  You'll have to go through me to get to my
    master!
    Rhett: Graaaakk....
    Nash: Umm....  Excuse me, can I clarify this mess?
    Wilder: Go on.
    Nash: Actually, we need a guide to take us to the Chisha Village.  I've heard
    how brave Duck Clan men are, and how traveling merchants often hire them as
    guards.
    Rhett: That's right.
    Chris: Then will you take us there?
    Wilder: It wouldn't normally pose a problem, but with the recent skirmishes
    going on, our chief wants us to remain here.  If you get permission from the
    chief, we'll be happy to escort you.
    Chris: Village chief?
    Nash: What chief?
    Wilder: Yes, the chief's the one sporting the finest tail feather.  He should
    be around here someplace.
    Chris: Okay....  Whatever you say.
    Nash: Chris, how do we distinguish one duck from the next?
    Chris: You're asking the wrong person.
    
    [Find the Duck Chief]
    
    Duck Chief: Well, well.  It seems like we have guests.  Welcome to the Duck
    Clan.
    
    [Fade out and fade in, assumed they spoke with the chief]
    
    Chris: We managed to get the chief's permission, by a nose... err... beak.
    Nash: Excellent.
    
    [Go find Rhett and Wilder]
    
    Rhett: Hello again.  I see you found the chief.  He's most remarkable, isn't
    he?
    Nash: Indeed.  And his tail feathers were as impressive as you said.
    Wilder: Told you!
    Chris: He's given permission for you to guide us, if you will.
    Wilder: Absolutely.  For the proper pay.
    Nash: That depends.  What do you consider "proper"?
    Wilder: To go to Chisha Village... will cost 2,000 potch.
    Nash: 2,000!
    Chris: That's highway robbery, but... I'll pay it.
    Nash: Woo-eee!  How easily the upper class parts with money.
    Chris: Enough!
    
    [Paid the money]
    
    Rhett: Leave everything to us.  We know what we're doing.
    Wilder: It's a short trip to Chisha Village, so don't worry about a thing.
    
    [Head to Chisha]
    
    Wilder: Here we are at Chisha Village.
    Rhett: The Chisha Clan is one of the Six Clans.  These villagers don't have
    warrior ancestors like the Duck and Lizard Clans, but they are some of the
    nicest folks around.
    Wilder: And their food is delicious!
    Rico: Ho ho!  Now there's something to look forward to.  Right, Master Fred?
    Fred: Yes indeed.
    Rico: I can't wait!
    
    [Go further in and see two strange girls]
    
    Yun: Welcome, welcome to you all.  I've been expecting you.  Please, introduce
    yourselves.
    Chris: Expecting us?
    Yun: Yes, of course we've been expecting you.  You came to our village to look
    for your father, right?
    Chris: Uh... well... yes, I did.  But how did you know?
    Yun: I know because it's my job to know.
    Chris: What do you mean?
    Yumi: How do you do?  I am Yumi.  And this is Yun.  She knew you were coming
    because she is a "gifted" child.
    Rhett: "Gifted?"  How?
    Wilder: You mean she's a seer?
    Yumi: whatever you wish to call it.  We're from Alma Kinan.
    Fred: I don't understand.  Why all the excitement?  Does that make them
    important?
    Rhett: Guard your thoughts, fool!  What you don't know could hurt you.
    Fred: What are you talking about?
    Rico: Please calm down, sir.  Don't let them get to you.  What's so special
    about Alma Kinan, anyway?
    Wilder: Allow me to explain.  The Six Clans consist of us, the Duck Clan, and
    five other clans: Lizard, Karaya, Safir, Chisha, and Alma Kinan.  This is the
    first time I've met anyone from Alma Kinan.
    Rhett: Me, too!
    Yumi: That doesn't surprise me.  We haven't gone outside our village for ages.
    Fred: Why not?  Have you been imprisoned there?  For witchcraft, perhaps?
    Rhett: Watch your language, human!
    Fred: What's wrong with you?  What makes them so special?
    Wilder: Be careful!  Your rash behavior might earn you a curse!
    Yumi: A curse?  Excuse me!  That's not very nice to imply.
    Wilder: P-please, forgive me!
    Yumi: Well, I guess I'll let it be.  You're merely misguided in what we do,
    although it does involve rituals and spirits.
    Yun: I think it's time we went inside.  You must be tired.  You can sit down
    and wait for her to get here.
    
    [Go further in and find Sana]
    
    Sana: Welcome to our village!  Are these the ones?
    Yun: Yes, they are.  They will bring good to Chisha Village.
    Sana: I see...
    Yun: The bad ones will arrive soon as well.
    Nash: I am utterly baffled.  What is going on?
    Yumi: Yun is possessed with the gift to see many things.
    Chris: See things?
    Yun: I see certain things very well, but this will not last for much longer.
    Villager: Sana!  Yun!  They are here!!!
    Yumi: This is what she meant.
    
    [A bunch of Mantors arrive]
    
    Chris: What are those things?
    Nash: Mantors... and Le Buque's men riding them, I suppose.  This is the first
    time I've seen them too.
    Chris: Let's go before there is trouble.  I don't need to find out if her
    prophecy is true.
    
    [Try to leave]
    
    Franz: Listen up!  Bishop Sasarai, the leader of the Holy Harmonia Kingdom's
    army, wishes to avoid further conflict.  Thus, I have been ordered to locate
    the Fire Bringer gang.  This village will be under our rule for as long as this
    situation remains.  You will obey our orders.  Is this clear?  This is not a
    request.  It is a decree!
    Sana: We cannot accept such a one-sided decree.  We have no means to fight
    back, but we are the masters here.
    Franz: When the Safir Clan resisted our investigation not long ago, the ensuing
    revolt against Harmonia resulted in tragedy.  Do you wish that same fate upon
    yourselves?
    Sana: Then you are saying that we should be enslaved by Harmonia, just as you
    are?
    Franz:  Damn!  You idiot!
    Chris: Watch out!
    Franz: Who are you?  You don't look like a villager.
    Chris: Why should I divulge my identity to a beast?
    Nash: Our cover is blown!  Weren't we supposed to remain anonymous?
    Chris: I'm sorry, Nash, but...
    Nash: Yeah, yeah.  I suppose I can see why your men look up to you.
    Franz: You want to fight, then?  All right... Get on with it!
    Mantor Legionnaire: Understood!
    Mantor Legionnaire: It looks unavoidable.  But don't overdo it, Franz.
    Franz: I know!
    Chris: They're not backing down, Nash.  We'll have to fight our way out of
    this.
    Nash: I hate it when this happens.  Okay,, let's get on with it.
    Chris: Here they come!
    
    [Battle ensues, it is easily won]
    
    Franz: They told me there were no fighters in Chisha Village.  Let's get out of
    here!
    Mantor Legionnaire: Agreed.
    Franz: You will regret this!
    
    [The mantors leave]
    
    Rhett: They're gone.
    Chris: Yes, but they're just a sample of the Harmonian army.  If they're on a
    recon mission, we haven't seen the end of this yet.
    
    [In the village]
    
    Sana: Your help is appreciated.  We have no means with which to fight here.
    We're in your debt.
    Chris: Don't mention it.  We should have been more careful.  That attack's not
    the end of it.  We can expect Harmonia's main army next.
    Sana: You took up arms on our behalf.  Be proud.
    Chris: But it turned out-
    Sana: If you hadn't resisted, we would have, in our own way, for this land was
    once the land of the Flame Champion.
    
    [Head towards the exit of the village]
    
    Nash: What's the matter?
    Chris: Nash, what am I doing here?  I helped burn down the entire Karaya
    Village.  They should despise me as their enemy.  Why am I helping these
    people?  Is this going to make up for what I did?
    Nash: No, it won't.  And we're not getting anywhere here.  You don't want to be
    recognized, and you'd be better off helping overthrow the Grasslands.
    Chris: What?!  Overthrow the Grasslands?
    Nash: Listen, the Lizard and Karaya Clans can't afford to oppose both the
    Zexens and the Harmonians.  Ally with Harmonia, and you can crush the
    Grasslands from both sides and divide the spoils between you.  I hear that
    Harmonia already has some close ties to the Zexen Council.
    Chris: How can you suggest such a treacherous plan?  The Knights would never
    stand for it!  Speak nothing further of this.  If you continue, my sword shall
    silence you.
    Nash: Don't get so upset.  We obviously see the situation differently.  So,
    what happened to the search for your father?  That Yun girl seemed to know you.
    Chris: Thanks for reminding me.
    
    [Go find Yun and Yumi]
    
    Chris: Ahem.  Um...
    Yun: You can call me Yun.
    Chris: OK.  So, Yun... you said you were waiting for me.  Why?
    Yun: We two came to this place for two reasons.  First, to defend the village.
    And because we haven't completed our first mission yet, I'll have to wait to
    tell you the second.
    Nash: To defend the village?  You and her?  Just the two of you?  Don't tell
    me-you must be the daughter of the Flame Champion, inheritor of the True Fire
    Rune, able to burn even water like wood.
    Yun: Oh, how I wish!  But no, I will never have that power.  I do have the
    power to hear spirit voices better than most.  This will protect the village.
    Trust me.
    Chris: Don't be silly!  That's nonsense.  A foolish superstition.
    Yun: But it did work just now.
    Chris: That was pure luck.  There were only a few intruders, and we just
    happened to be here.
    Yun: That's what you think.  The fact you were here to help us was not mere
    coincidence.  It was fate at work.  We'll need more than that for our next
    battle, though.  I need to ask you a favor.  If you help us, I'll tell you why
    I was waiting for you.  Is it a "deal," as you say in Zexen?
    Chris: What kind of favor?
    Yun: I need you to go to Duck Village and bring someone back here.  They'll be
    able to help us defend the village.  Will you do it?
    Chris: OK, I'll help you.  It's a deal.
    Yun: Thank you so much.  I knew we could count on you.  For a moment, I was a
    bit worried.
    Chris: I thought you could hear the spirits talk.
    Yun: Yes, but... sometimes they mumble.  Now, let's get started.  Time is
    running
    out, you know.
    
    [On the outskirts of the village]
    
    Fred: Rico and I will stay behind.  You never know when they might return.
    Rico: Yes, Master Fred.  Time to let the world know about the Maximillian
    Knights!
    Rhett: Then we'll go with you.
    Wilder: We need to report back to the Village Chief anyway.
    Yumi: So it will be Yun and me, along with Chris, Nash, Rhett and Wilder,
    right?
    Rhett: Wow, Wilder!  Can you believe we're escorting the girls from Alma Kinan?
    Wilder: Try to contain yourself, Rhett.  This will surprise the whole village,
    indeed.
    Sana: Well, Yun and Yumi, I will depend on you.
    Yun: Certainly.  Spirits bless us all.
    Sana: Thank you.
    Nash: Enough small talk.  Let's move along quickly!
    Yun: Of course.
    
    [Arrive to Duck Village]
    
    Rhett: I can't wait till everybody sees us with the girls from Alma Kinan.
    Yun: Excuse me, Rhett.
    Rhett: Yes?
    Yun: Could you keep that to yourself for the moment?  We have more important
    matters to attend to.
    Yumi: I don't care to make a spectacle of myself, anyway.
    Rhett: Sure you don't want people to admire you?
    Yun: I'm sure.
    Rhett: Drat!  Well, if that's your wish, I'll do my best to honor it.
    Wilder: Well, then we'll go see the village chief and report on the incident at
    the Chisha Village.
    
    [Rhett and Wilder run off to the chief]
    
    Nash: Now, who are the ones you want to take back?
    Yun: I sense they're definitely somewhere in the village.
    
    [Head towards the inn and find Apple and Caesar]
    
    Caesar: Must I repeat myself?  He is planning some sort of conspiracy somewhere
    here in the Grasslands.
    Apple: What and where?  You have to be more specific.
    Caesar: That's why we're here... to investigate!
    Apple: You call this milling around investigating?  Unbelievable!  Remember the
    last chance you had me take?  You know, in that last battle...?
    Caesar: Yeah, yeah, I hear ya'.  You got me there.  The food at the lodging is
    awful.  I'll try to find us something else, okay?
    
    [Caesar nearly runs into Yun]
    
    Yun: Do you want me to tell you where he is?
    Caesar: Who the hell are you?
    Yun: You are looking for someone, aren't you?  Actually, I am looking for
    someone too.
    Apple: Who is she?
    Caesar: No idea.
    
    [Scene fades out, explanations are made[
    
    Caesar: Hmmmm.  You came to use me to rescue the Chisha Village according to
    the prophecy?
    Yun: Basically, yes, but you're slightly off track.
    Caesar: Uh... I don't know, then.
    Apple You are from Alma Kinan.  A possessed child.  A shaman who speaks with
    the spirits.  Am I right?
    Yumi: You know a lot.  But you look like you're from someplace other than the
    Grasslands.
    Apple: I'm from the Republic of Toran, where I studied for a while.  Since Alma
    Kinan villagers seldom leave the village, what brings you here?  Is something
    amiss?
    Yun: It's not entirely clear, but there's an evil force coming that could wreak
    havoc upon the land.  If we don't oppose it, expect a disaster so horrific the
    spirits would shudder.
    Caesar: I'm not the superstitious type, but you mentioned something
    interesting.  You know where this conspirator is?
    Yun: I can lead you to meet him.  This meeting will result in him eventually
    rescuing the Chisha Village.
    Caesar: What shall we do, Apple?
    Apple: We'll come with you.
    Caesar: W-wait a minute now.  Who made you the boss?
    Apple: We can't just stay here doing nothing.
    Caesar: Still....
    Apple: Be brave, Caesar!  There must be something up, because the Zexen Knights
    are involved too.
    Chris: E-excuse me?
    Apple: Ah!  I was right!  How do you do, Lady Chris?  I noticed a resemblance,
    so I thought it might be you.  See, Caesar?
    Caesar: All right.
    
    [Outside the inn]
    
    Caesar: All we have to do is follow you, is that right?
    Yun: Yes, if you please.
    Nash: Hey!  How come we haven't done anything so far?  Why are we here?  Anyone
    know?
    Chris: I have no idea.
    Nash: Damn!
    Yun: I appreciate your service.  I hope you don't mind escorting us back.
    Chris: No, no problem.
    Yumi: Oh, she is your choice.  I see.
    Yun: Hee hee.
    Chris: Hmm?
    Caesar: I will depend on you, Apple.
    Apple: Yes, Caesar.  I'll handle the messenger business.  Don't you go wild
    while I'm away.  Understood?
    Caesar: Yes, yes, yes.  Let's get moving.
    
    [Caesar joins, they go to leave]
    
    Wilder: Hey!  Wait for us!  We're coming too!
    
    [Rhett and Wilder join again, head back to Chisha Village]
    
    Yun: We've just returned.  And I brought defense to protect the village.
    Fred: Defend the village?  They must be skilled swordsmen.  Where are they?
    Can I meet them?
    Caesar: Heh!  You must be talking about me.
    Fred: What?  Where did he come from?
    Caesar: Are you in charge of this place, madam?
    Sana: Yes, my boy.  I am Sana, chief of this village.
    Caesar: Nice to meet you.  I am Caesar.  I studied military strategy in the
    Toran Republic and Crystal Valley.  If you and these baboons collaborate, I can
    easily defend the village for you.
    Sana: I see.
    Chris: Military strategist?
    Caesar: You dragged me into this, so you follow my orders.  Understand?
    Fred: What do you mean, "baboons"?!
    Caesar: I didn't say that.
    Fred: Liar!
    Caesar: Aren't you in a hurry?  Do as I say!  Chief Sana, I'll need you to pass
    my orders along to the villagers.  And will the rest of you macho guys please
    gather in the square?
    Chris: What do you mean by "macho guys"?  What about me?
    Fred: Yo, hey, you did say baboons...
    
    [In the square]
    
    Caesar: I'm only asking you to hold on until the auxiliary troops arrive.
    That's all.
    Fred: Auxiliary troops?
    Caesar: Apple has taken care of that, so don't worry.
    Chris: even with auxiliary troops, we have to plan a strategy.  We can't just
    wait around here.
    Caesar: Our strategy is simple.  We just focus on repelling the next onslaught.
    The other troops will follow suit.  We'll guard the village entrance and drive
    the enemy away.  That's it.
    Fred: That's it?  That's your whole plan?
    Caesar: A more complicated plan would be easier to botch.  I'll finish
    organizing units for combat.  Then we'll be ready.
    
    [Organize troops]
    
    Caesar: All right.  The units are ready.  Now, what else do we need?  Nothing?
    Then I guess all we can do is wait for them to get here.
    Chris: We're ready.  All that's left to do is fight.
    Caesar: I'm depending on you.
    
    [Battle commences]
    
    Caesar: Guard the entrance area to the village and try to buy time.
    Nash: That's the plan?
    Caesar: Don't sweat it.  I've thought this through.
    Dios: This is the Chisha Village?  It hardly seems worth inclusion in the Six
    Clans.
    Harmonian Soldier: Preparations are complete.
    Dios: Good.  Start the raid from the village entrance, and don't stop until
    you're done.  And make sure to finish before dinnertime.
    
    [After one skirmish]
    
    Dios: How well they fight, all of a sudden!  They must have hired mercenaries.
    
    [A few more rounds pass, Sasarai's unit shows up]
    
    Sasarai: Battle report?
    Dios: It seems they have enlisted quality assistance.  It's time to conduct a
    swift routing of their foces.
    Sasarai: But do not continue the attack further than is necessary.  I trust you
    understand that.
    Dios: Of course.  Now, they should be along any minute....
    
    [Another round, mantor units arrive]
    
    Franz: We aren't going through the front door!  I'm looking forward to this....
    Chris: The rear?  Mantor units!
    Fred: We'll be outflanked!
    Caesar: Don't panic.  Chief Sana, proceed as planned.
    Sana: Very well.  Everyone... Now!
    Villagers: Wahhh!
    Mantor Legionnaire: Smoke?
    Franz: What's that smell?  It's--!
    Rico: Look at that, they're retreating!  But why?
    Caesar: That was the Le Buque Legionnaire square on their Mantors.  The smoke
    is from a mixture of manure and dry wood, burned together with shibami grass.
    Mantors detest the smell.  Heehee.
    
    [Another round passes]
    
    Dios: Le Buque is never any use.
    Harmonian Soldier: Sir!  It's-
    
    [Hugo's unit shows up]
    
    Hallec: Uwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!
    Mua: I end the plight of my comrade by Sword, Loyalty, and Strength!
    Hugo: Sergeant, let's go!
    Sgt. Joe: Charge!
    Dios: Braggarts.  Just because their reinforcements were timely...
    Harmonian Solider: Sir, shall we regroup and attack in greater numbers?
    Dios: The thought is tempting...  But I'd rather go home.
    Harmonian Soldier: Sir?
    Dios: We needn't trouble ourselves.  We've made our appearance for today.
    
    [Dios withdraws]
    
    Sasarai: Retreating?
    Albert: It's easy to see why.  This is not the time to risk anything.
    Sasarai: Ah.
    
    [Sasarai's unit withdraws, victory is had]
    
    Sana: It seems to have all worked out for the best.
    Caesar: Yeah, but this isn't the end.  They'll be back soon enough.
    Apple: We made it just in time.
    Caesar: Your timing was so good, I'd say you must have been waiting in the
    wings for your big moment.
    Apple: That's more your style, Caesar.
    Hugo: You, I've met you somewhere before...
    Chris: !
    Hugo: That hair.  Those eyes.  It was you.  You killed him.
    Chris: !  The child at the village...
    Hugo: You took his life.  You took my home.  Why?  What are you doing in
    Grassland?  You don't belong here!  This is our village.  What do you care what
    happens to it!
    Chris: ............
    Hugo: Why are you helping us "barbarians" all of a sudden?
    Nash: Adults have their reasons.  You children who see the world in black and
    white will learn soon enough about shades of gray.
    Hugo: Out of my way!
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, stop.
    Hugo: Why protect him, Sergeant?
    Sgt. Joe: I know how you feel, but this isn't the way.
    Caesar: He's right.  The battle's not over yet.  We can't afford internal
    discord if there's gonna be more.
    Hugo: Damn it!
    
    [Later]
    
    Nash: Who's that boy?
    Chris: I killed his friend during the Zexen Knight's attack on the Karaya
    Village.  He's still angry.
    Nash: There are plenty of unwanted deaths in war.  Even a skilled fighter is
    likely to have quite a toll.
    Chris: Yes, I know....
    Sgt. Joe: Can I talk to you for a bit?
    Chris: Of course.
    Sgt. Joe: Sorry about what happened just now.  Hugo is young and doesn't
    understand.
    Chris: That's all right.  He has every reason to hate me.
    Sgt. Joe: To be honest, I wouldn't mind avenging Lulu myself.
    Chris: Then, why not?
    Sgt. Joe: Did you really kill the Lizard Clan's chief?
    Chris: What do you mean?
    Sgt. Joe: You know, the chief of - oh, I get it.  It must've just been a rumor.
    Can't believe everything you hear, I guess.
    Yun: You, from the Duck Clan.  Are you done talking?
    Sgt. Joe: Yes, ma'am.  I got what I came for.
    Yun: Chris, can you come to Alma Kinan with us?
    Chris: Why?  If the battle continues, we can't leave the village, can we?
    Yun: The other part of our purpose in coming here was to invite you to our own
    village.
    Chris: Why me?  What do you want with me?
    Yun: This is the second to last task I must perform, Chris.
    Chris: Second to last?
    Yun: Yes.  You see, I can tell you about your father once we reach my homeland.
    Caesar: That would be wonderful.  I managed to persuade them, but they'll
    eventually discover you're the Zexen hero, Chris Lightfellow.  In the
    Grasslands, they call you the Ironhead Chief.
    Chris: Still, I can't leave....
    Caesar: We'll handle this battle ourselves.  Tend to your own business.
    
    [A bit later, as they leave]
    
    Sana: Journey safely, please.  No one will ever forget what you've done for our
    village.
    Chris: Come now... It wasn't that much.
    Yun: This is fate.  Because you were with us, we were able to defend the
    village.  However, we are still destined for more conflict.  I wish you well.
    Sana: We will be fine.  He is with us too.
    Yun: That's true.
    Yumi: Shall we move on?  We will be crossing the force field and we must not
    stray.
    
    [They all start to leave]
    
    Rico: Don't worry, Master Fred, there will be another battle.
    Fred: You're probably right, but I feel there's a great confrontation ahead of
    us.
    Rico: Is this why we are going with them?
    Fred: That's correct.
    Rico: Really?  I don't suppose it's because of Lady Chris?
    Fred: Certainly not!  Rico, shut your mouth and get moving!
    Rico: D-Don't go too fast, Master Fred.
    
    [They reach the barrier]
    
    Yumi: Here is where the protective barrier begins.  Don't wander off, or you'll
    be stuck in the forest.
    Fred: Protective barrier?  Is it some kind of magic?
    Yumi: Could be.  Some call it that.
    Fred: OK, let's go.
    Yumi: We didn't invite him, did we?
    Yun: It doesn't matter.  We haven't had guests for ages.
    Fred: What is it?  Get moving.
    
    [Go a bit further in]
    
    Yumi: A force field starts here.
    Chris: A force field?  I don't see anything.
    Yumi: This is it.  Usually, you return to where you started from.  Its power
    has weakened lately, though.
    
    [They go further in and find a bunch of girls waiting for them]
    
    Yun: Yuiri, we are home!
    Yuiri: Hi, Yun, good to see you back.  By the way, did you find her?
    Yun: Yes, this is Chris, Yuiri.  She helped us defend the Chisha Village too.
    Yuiri: Nice to meet you, Chris.  I am Yuiri.  I am in charge of the village.
    Welcome to Alma Kinan!
    Chris: My pleasure.  I am Chris, but would someone be kind enough to tell me
    what's going on?
    Yuiri: Surely, my dear.  But that would take longer than I have at the moment.
    I'm preparing for one of our rituals.  Would tonight be soon enough?
    Chris: Most assuredly.
    Yun: I will come too.
    Nash: Who's that?
    [Yuber appears out of nowhere]
    
    Yuber: I see at least one of you is perceptive and on the ball.
    Nash: I make a good spy.
    Yuiri: You, you are not human!
    Yuber: What am I then?  Actually, I'm glad I'm not as fragile and coarse as
    humans are.
    Yuiri: How did you get past the force field into our sacred Alma Kinan?  What
    do you want?!
    Yuber: I sensed something amiss... a disturbance in the space continuum.  I
    figured someone was using an invisible force field.  All I had to do was find a
    weak spot in the barrier, and viola!  Here I am!  But let's get down to
    business.  I know that there just happens to be another True Water Rune Seal
    here.  Could you explain this to me?
    Yuiri: Who told you...?
    Yuber: Even the dead reveal their secrets to me.
    Nash: Monster!
    
    [Yuiri joins and a fight starts, amazingly this time we win]
    
    Yuber: You cheating worms... No matter.  I know where this village is now.
    Things will be different next time.
    
    [And he vanishes]
    
    Chris: Who or what was that?  Tell me.
    Yuiri: One of the destructive forces Yun was talking about.
    Chris: Destructive forces?
    Yuiri: Yes.  I will explain this to you too, later.  Yun and Yumi, show them
    around the village.  I will be at Great-Auntie's.
    
    [Arrive at the village]
    
    Yumi: Enter and look around.  I doubt if there's much that will catch your eye
    here.
    
    [They arrive to a house]
    
    Yumi: This is where our great-aunt lives.  Yuiri should be waiting for us.
    Fred: I've been wondering.  I haven't seen a single man in this village.  Why
    is that?  Have they all gone to battle?
    Yumi: This is the village of Alma Kinan.  The Shaman Clan of the Grasslands
    lives here.  We are all women.
    Chris: This is an all-woman clan?
    Nash: Odd custom, I'd say.
    Yumi: You think so?  This is how we have lived for a long time.
    Nash I'd like to know why.
    Yumi: It's better not to know.
    Yun: I will be inside.  Join me when you are done with the tour.
    Chris: Why on earth are we here?
    
    [Head inside to find Yun and Yuiri]
    
    Yuiri: Please come in.  Make yourselves at home.  After all, you are our
    guests!  We seldom entertain around here.
    Chris: I can see that.  The village seems like it's rejecting the outside
    world.
    Yuiri: You are quite outspoken.
    Chris: I'm sorry.  I'm used to saying what's on my mind.
    Yuiri: You aren't totally wrong.  We are very committed to our duties, and
    sometimes this does require us to withdraw from the outside world.
    Chris: Interesting...  Then please tell me why we're here; about the destructive
    force we just encountered; the Water Rune Seal that he mentioned; and... about
    the Flame Champion.
    Yuiri: Yun.
    Yun: Chris, I am a child of the Alma Kinan with an unusual gift that sometimes
    allows me to see...  ...into the future.
    Fred: You're like a fortune teller?
    Yun: You can think of it that way, if that helps you.  There is one vision that
    has haunted me since my birth.  This is the destruction of the true rune...  and
    the resurrection of the Flame Champion.
    Nash: The destruction of the true rune?
    Yun: Yes, the power of the twenty-seven true runes which sustain the world.
    There are people who seek to destroy one of the runes.  The man in black whom
    we just encountered is probably one of them...
    Chris: What happens if a true rune is destroyed?  Why are they so determined?
    Yuiri: A long time ago, there was a hero in the Grassland.  The Flame Champion,
    [Flame Champion].  We, the people of Alma Kinan, joined the battle under his
    leadership against the Harmonian army.  During the second major battle, the
    Flame Champion, [Flame Champion], and his followers, the Fire Bringer, were
    surrounded by the Harmonian forces...
    
    [A flashback]
    
    Lizard Fighter: Where is the Flame Champion?  Where is [Flame Champion?
    Karaya Fighter: Damn!  If this continues, we're all finished!
    Alma Kinan Fighter: What's that?
    Yuiri: The Fire Bringer, the Harmonian forces and the Grassland troops...  were
    all engulfed in a firestorm and perished.  They say the fire burned for ten
    days.  The only survivor was the Flame Champion himself. He did not speak of
    it, but the force behind it was the power of the true rune... It must have been
    a
    rune power out of control.  [Flame Champion] repented for this horrible deed
    which took many lives of both ally and foe.
    Chris: The true rune power out of control?  If the true rune was destroyed...
    Yuiri: Everyone could perish.  From the Grasslands to Zexen, Holy Harmonia to
    Dunan, to the south and northern Outlands...
    Chris: ...........
    Chris: That's nonsense...
    Yun: Why do you say that?
    Chris: Just think about it.  What is the purpose of doing this?  There's
    nothing to gain.  It sounds like a fantasy to me.
    Yun: Then you don't believe me.
    Chris: Zexen Knights don't fight for fantasy.  We're bound by loyalty and
    reason.
    Yun: ...............................
    Chris: Sorry....  Could you leave me alone for a while?  I need to think.
    
    [Go talk to Nash outside the house]
    
    Nash: Hey, have you cooled down?  I don't think they've finished with their
    chat.  Are you interested?  Or have you had enough of the barbarian
    superstitions?
    Chris: You know something?  I don't like you.
    Nash: I can't help it.
    Chris: I need more time....
    
    [Head towards the sacred site, Nash follows]
    
    Chris: What is it?  Were you looking for me?
    Nash: You, yes, as well as something else.  A quiet spot.
    Chris: Why?
    Nash: To talk with you alone.  I must be lucky; I found both.
    Chris: So, what do you want to talk about?
    Nash: To seduce you....  Just kidding.  My missus would find me out in a
    heartbeat.  I can't risk it today.
    Chris: Or any other day.
    Nash: Oh, I don't know about that.
    Chris: Don't start, Nash.
    Nash: I am not comfortable with this.
    Nash: Oh?  Then why did you suggest the idea in the first place?  You seemed to
    have known what was going to happen....
    Nash: To some extent, yes.  I was sent by Bishop Sasarai of the Holy Harmonia
    to sneak into the Grasslands.
    Chris: Holy Harmonia?  Don't tell me... you're a spy from Harmonia?
    Nash: I'm afraid I am.  The alleged reason for our current invasion is to
    eliminate the rest of the Fire Bringer band.  But they think there's someone
    else pulling the strings, so to speak.  It's my job to look into this.  A
    secret mission directly from the bishop.  I couldn't refuse.
    Chris: And you think it's the destructive force they just mentioned?
    Nash: I didn't want to believe that.  But it does seem to fit, doesn't it?  On
    the brink of the cease fire, Zexen and the Grasslands rebounded with a full-
    scale battle.  At the same time, the Holy Harmonian army invaded.
    Chris: It all seems unreal to me....  It has to be just a complication in the
    conflict between us and the Grasslands.  I only came to the Grasslands to find
    out about my father, with no other intention whatsoever.
    Yun: I will tell you about your father.  Will you listen to me?
    Chris: Of course I will!
    Yun: Chris, your father is still alive.
    Chris: How do you know?
    Yun: There lived a hero, [Flame Champion], the Flame Champion, in the
    Grasslands.  He and his band of comrades were called "the Fire Bringer".
    
    [Fade out into a flashback]
    
    [Flame Champion]: Goodbye, my friends.  Forgive me for not being able to go
    with you.
    ??????: I'm sure our paths will cross again.
    ??????: We've always trusted your decisions.  We still do.
    
    [Back to the present]
    
    Yun: The Flame Champion had two close comrades, and your father was one of
    them.
    Nash: Hold it right there!  The Flame Champion lived more than fifty years ago.
    If Chris' father was his close friend, he must be over... no, that's can't be
    true.
    Chris: What?
    Yun: Just as the Flame Champion was bearer of the True Fire Rune, your father
    was bearer of the True Water Rune.  You see, the 27 True Runes that exist in
    this world are thought to be part of a central force which moves the world.
    The bearers of the runes are said to be granted great power and immortality.
    The seal that hides the power of the rune and its whereabouts is in Alma Kinan.
    Chris: But how does he keep the True Water Rune a secret?  He would have to
    bear it inside his body!
    Yun: Most likely.
    Chris: That's why the man told me to follow the Flame Champion.
    Yun: I've told you everything that I know, Chris.
    Chris: Thanks.  Yun, are you...
    Yun: Pardon me, Chris?
    Chris: Never mind.
    Yun: In that case, I will leave you now.
    
    [Go back to the house]
    
    Fred: They said they'd get our accommodations ready now.  Everyone wanted to
    keep talking, but Yun dismissed us for today.  They seemed preoccupied with
    something else.
    Rico: What shall we do?  Shall we retire for the night?
    Chris: I think I need a little rest.
    Rico: See, Master Fred?  Everybody is exhausted!  You're the only one who
    pretends not to be.
    Fred: I'm not tired at all!  My eyes are just... uh... droopy.
    Rico: Master Fred, we are leaving you behind.
    
    [During the night]
    
    Chris: What was that?  I thought I heard something...
    
    [Chris goes outside, the villagers can be seen there]
    
    Chris: What's going on here?
    Yuiri: Getting ready for the ritual.
    Chris: Ritual?  What for?
    Yuiri: Ritual of soul-sending.
    Chris: Soul-sending?
    Yuiri: We offer a soul to the spirits in order to receive their blessings on
    the Grasslands.
    
    [A flashback to earlier]
    
    Yun: This is the second to last task I must perform, Chris.
    Chris: Second to last?
    
    [Back to the present]
    
    Chris: You're not talking about Yun, are you?
    Yuiri: Yes, of course.  She is a special child.  She lives for today.  There's
    a destructive force which aims to destroy the true runes, and people who intend
    to obtain the Grasslands by taking advantage of the present turmoil.  We need
    the blessings of the spirits to block them.  Tonight, Yun will offer her soul
    to the spirits.
    Chris: You must be kidding!  How could you sacrifice her life... just like
    that?!
    Yuiri: Do you not make sacrifices for Zexen?
    Chris: No!  I mean, yes!  I mean... Losing one's life in battle is a lot
    different than killing for some spiritual mumbo-jumbo.
    Yuiri: How dare you treat something you don't understand with so much
    disrespect!
    Chris: I... Is this why you brought us here, to witness this atrocity?
    Nash: Forget it, Chris.
    Chris: Is a "lucky" rabbit's foot so lucky for the rabbit who lost it?  Damn
    this superstitious garbage!
    Yun: Chris.  Please, can you come with me, Chris?
    Yuiri: Yun, remember, the ritual starts soon.
    Yun: I know.  I only want a brief moment to speak with Chris before the ritual.
    I won't be long.
    Yuiri: Mind you, she is not from Alma Kinan.
    Yun: Of course.  Chris, please come this way.
    
    [Chris follows Yun]
    
    Yun: This is such a quiet evening.  A perfect setting for the ritual.
    Chris: Yun, do you know what you're getting into?
    Yun: Of course I know.  After the soul-sending ritual, I am going to die.
    Chris: Yun!
    Yun: This is my duty.  Many people die without finishing, or even knowing their
    duties...  I consider myself lucky.  No regrets.  In Alma Kinan, a girl whose
    soul is offered will become a spirits.  My soul will live forever.
    Chris: Still...
    Yun: How compassionate you are!  I appreciate your concern more than you know.
    After all, you hardly know me.
    Chris: So now can I ask you...  Why did you bring me here?  Was that one of your
    duties?
    Yun: I've had visions of today's events ever since I was little.  Maybe that's
    why you feel like an old friend to me.  I've always wanted to meet you.  Of
    course there was the "destructive force" to consider, but it wasn't just that.
    Chris: What do you want me to do?
    Yun: You do not like expectations placed upon you by other people?
    Chris: ............
    Chris: I put all efforts as a Zexen Knight into combat.  I only intended to
    defend my fellow men, the Zexen Knights and my country.  But I found myself
    hailed as a hero, tormented by unsolicited attention and overt jealousies.  Was
    I born with these qualities?  Why do my people love me as a hero?  Was this my
    destiny?  That has always btoehred me.  Maybe it is why I distanced myself from
    the Knights.  Maybe I wanted to escape the role of a hero.  But I still...
    Yun: You don't need qualifications to make a difference.  Let expectations
    bring happiness, not burdens.  Do whatever you feel is right.  Trust your
    intuition.  Just as I have my duties, you have yours.  Wouldn't you be more
    upset if you had no purpose in life?
    Chris: But... I am...
    Yun: It is almost time.  After the last ritual is complete, the seal of the
    Water will be released.  Its power will be sought again.  The power of the True
    Rune that has been suppressed by the seal will be released as well, and the
    whereabouts of the Flame Champion will be identified.  Making use of his power
    could be the only way to save the Grasslands.  I will leave it to you to make
    it so, Chris.
    Chris: Yun.
    Yun: It was nice to know you, Chris.  You are a serious but kind person...
    Chris: Kind?
    
    [The rest of the villagers arrive]
    
    Yuiri: Yun, it is time.
    Yun: So it is.  Chris, Nash, Fred and Rico... Good0bye to you all... and to my
    sisters, Yuiri and Yumi.  It is my time to go.
    Yumi: Yun...
    Chris: Y-Yun....
    Nash: This si not Zexen or Holy Harmonia.  The Grasslanders have their own
    ways.  Look how they curse us for cutting trees and burning grass to make way
    for "stone piles."
    Chris: To die by the sword is noble... but to give up your life freely?
    Nash: Not for us to say.
    
    [And Yuber approaches again with a nice fireball and looks like Sarah and
    Maskie are with him]
    
    Masked man: I fully agree with the lady.  I'd advise you to stop the ritual.
    I'll release the seal of the True Water Rune.
    Yuiri: You!  I saw you not too long ago!
    Yuber: I told you I knew where the village was.
    Yuiri: Disgraceful intruders!  You defile this sacred place!  Leave this
    instant!
    Chris: Why now?
    Yuber: On guard!
    
    [Battle starts, I sucked and lost]
    
    Yuber: Pity you couldn't keep your mouth shut....
    Chris: H-hold it right there...  I won't let you go near Yun!
    Masked Man: She'll be dead after the ritual anyway.  What difference does it
    make?
    Chris: S-shut up!
    Fred: Oh, brother.
    
    [The ritual finishes and poor Yun is dead]
    
    Yuiri: The ritual is over.
    Sarah: We shouldn't have taken so long.  The seal has been released.  The True
    Water Rune is...
    Masked man: ...gone with the Water Seal, I imagine.  That's fine.  There's
    another seal left.  We'll still manage if we get that one.
    
    [And they depart]
    
    Yuiri: Are they gone?
    Chris: Were they the destructive force Yun warned us about?
    
    [The next day]
    
    Rico: Good morning, milady.  After such a hectic day yesterday, I hope you
    managed a good night's sleep.
    
    [Head back to the ritual site to find Nash]
    
    Nash: Good morning, Chris.
    Chris: You're up with the sun, Nash.  Why so early?
    Nash: What's wrong with rising at dawn?  Only old folks have to wait until the
    crowing stops before getting up.
    Chris: I really don't need more of your sarcasm this morning.
    Nash: I'm always getting chided by you women for whatever I do.  I'm not out
    fooling around, you know.
    Chris: I think you make fooling around your business.
    Nash: Are you off to find the Flame Champion?
    Chris: My, what big ears you have!  I guess I really should go.  Someone's got
    to put an end to this.  Yun thought it should be me.
    Nash: You're going because someone else thinks it's right?
    Chris: It's more than that.  My heart is guiding me now.  My sworn enemies will
    be those who use senseless wars to further themselves.  Anyone who massacres
    innocent lives will answer to me.  As Captain of the Zexen Knights - no, wait!
    I shall follow my heart.  The heart of Chris Lightfellow, not that of some
    "silver hero" figure.
    Nash: But... you ARE a hero.  At least, you have all the makings of one.
    Chris: That doesn't matter, either.  All that matters is what needs to be done.
    
    [Go to the exit, the whole village turns out to say goodbye]
    
    Nash: I see you're here to see us off.
    Yuiri: Here's a map to the whereabouts of the Flame Champion.  I have no
    knowledge of what awaits you there.  Yun couldn't even foresee this.
    Chris: We can only press on.
    Yuiri: Thank you so much, Chris.
    Chris: I didn't mean to disrespect you or your rituals earlier.
    Yuiri: Will you accept our blessing for your journey?
    Chris: I'd welcome it.  I'm sure we'll need all the luck we can get to face the
    path before us.
    Yuiri: Well then, our greatest appreciation will go with this prayer.
    
    [Yuiri does some odd hand motions and light shines around Chris as Fred comes
    running]
    
    [At the Flame Champion hideaway]
    
    Fred: So this is where the4 Flame Champion Lives.  Quite gloomy, isn't it?
    Nash: I doubt if he lives here.  Only a hermit would set up house here.
    
    [Further ahead at a weird device thingy]
    
    Nash: A dead end?
    Chris: What's this?
    
    [She steps onto it, it glows and she vanishes]
    
    Nash: Wait a minute!  Chris!
    Fred: Hey!
    
    [Chris ends up on a similar device and the rest of the party is gone]
    
    Chris: Where am I?
    
    [She goes further ahead and finds Sana]
    
    Sana: Welcome, Chris:
    Chris: But you're the... chief of Chisha Village...
    Sana: That is correct.  But as the wife of the Flame Champion, [Flame
    Champion], I welcome you.
    Chris: You are the wife of the Flame Champion?  Is he here?
    Sana: Certainly, dear.  Let me show you the way.  Come.
    
    [They go further in]
    
    Chris: Oh...
    Sana: Yes, Chris.  He is the one.  [Flame Champion], the Flame Champion.  My
    beloved.
    
    End of Chris chapter 3
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Chapter 4
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Hugo: What... is this?
    Geddoe: .........
    Sana: The Flame Champion, [Flame Champion], my beloved, is deceased.
    Chris: But how can a rune bearer die?  The bearer is supposed to be immortal...
    Sana: That is true, but he chose to grow old with me, rather than live
    eternally.
    
    Flame Champion: My dear Sana, how do you like being known as the Champion's
    lover?
    Sana: I don't like it.  The Champion's lover?  I never intended to live in
    somebody else's shadow, let alone bear such a grandiose title.
    Flame Champion: Ha ha ha ha!  Who knew?  I don't like being labeled either, but
    somehow I got the name and it stuck.  I never thought I'd be working for
    justice or the people.  I was born and raised here in the Grasslands, and I
    just couldn't bear to see my land ransacked.  That's how it all began.  People
    were so excited to finally have hope, they projected it onto me, and ... here I
    am now!
    Sana: Is it difficult to always sustain that heroic image for the sake of your
    people?
    Flame Champion: Is it hard to have such devoted people imposing their ancient
    dreams and ideals on me...  I want the decision to act as I wish, to live or to
    die... But it doesn't do me any good to complain.  I must think positively.
    Sana: That sounds more like the man I know.  You've been behaving more like a
    Champion lately, but it's just for show, isn't it?  I'll admit, I'm relieved.
    Flame Champion: I'll only fight for what I hold dear.  Holy Harmonia has agreed
    to a fifty-year cease-fire.  This should give us enough time.
    Sana: Us...?  That might not be enough.
    Flame Champion: Yes, but at least we won't see our loved ones destroyed before
    our own eyes.  The name, Champion, means nothing to me.  My time with you...
    That is the most precious thing.
    Sana: Flame Champion...
    
    Sana: Then he used an ancient secret method of Cyndar to seal the True Rune he
    bore in his body, and chose to perish along with me.
    Chris: .........
    Geddoe: I don't doubt it.  It sounds like something he'd do.
    Hugo: Then, the Flame Champion, the hero who protected the Grasslands, is no
    longer...?
    Sana: Son, the shadows of the dead don't protect your loved ones; you do.
    You'll see.
    Chris: But the new Champion must unite the Grassland clans with Zexen.  They're
    still in constant conflict and under threat of the Harmonian army...
    Sana: [Flame Champion] accomplished it not with his title as a hero, but with
    his own abilities.  Isn't this so?
    Geddoe: .........
    Sana: Geddoe, you still haven't forgiven [Flame Champion], have you?  You never
    change.  You were always an idealist, and it encouraged [Flame Champion] to no
    end.  But the fact that you didn't seem to understand him hurt him.
    Geddoe: .........
    Sana: [Flame Champion] left me with a message, which is why I am here today.
    He was able to predict the future to some extent, because he bore the True
    Rune.  The True Fire Rune he sealed is protected by the ancient Secret Method
    of Cyndar.  If you wish... I can open the door for you.  But this will require
    you to take the power and the burden of the Flame Champion upon yourself.
    Hugo: Take over the title of the Flame Champion?
    Chris: Then, who is it going to be?
    Geddoe: Are you saying that one of us three will be his successor?
    Sana: [Flame Champion] often said that one's destiny is not predetermined, but
    is changeable.  He said even destiny makes room for a person who is strong-
    willed.  Flame Champion told me that the three of you would appear here to take
    over the True Fire Rune, but he didn't specify who.  He believed that a
    person's will, rather than their destiny, could open a door into the future.
    The decision of who will assume the title of Flame Champion will not be made by
    destiny, but by the will of a person.
    
    [Choose Hugo as Flame Champion]
    
    Hugo: During my first battle, I lost my best friend.  Sergeant said it's all
    part of war, but I'd do anything to have enough power to stop that kind of
    thing from ever happening again.  [Flame Champion], Mr. Flame Champion...  We
    need the power you possessed.  So can you please lend me...  Can you please let
    me have the power?
    
    Sana: You will follow [Flame Champion] as the new Flame Champion, Hugo.  To
    fulfill his last request, I will open the door to the True Rune.  Behind it, a
    challenge awaits you.  By passing this test, you will prove your ability to
    bear the Rune's responsibilities.
    Hugo: All right.
    Sana: Well, then, let me guide you.  Are you ready?
    Hugo: Yes.
    Sana: Well, then, please follow me.
    
    Sana: The True Fire Rune lies here.  Proceed and open the door.
    Hugo: Huh?  Ah, the test, I see...
    
    Hugo: I did it.  Now, I have proven myself.
    
    [Hugo gains True Fire]
    
    Sana: My job here is done.  Let us return now.  It is time for the living to
    continue their lives.
    Hugo: Lady Chris... Geddoe... I hope I'm the right person for this.  I have no
    idea
    why I was chosen as the new bearer of the True Fire Rune...
    ??????: He shouldn't bear the Rune if he doesn't understand its true purpose or
    meaning.
    Sana: W-why are you here?  This place is supposed to be sealed!
    Masked Man: You just unsealed it yourself.  When I sought the rune previously,
    it was impossible to find this location.  The Flame Champion must have been an
    extremely cunning man.  I searched Le Buque, the Safir Clan... even Alma Kinan.
    He caused me a lot of trouble, but it doesn't matter now.  I've found what I'm
    after.  Give me the rune.
    Hugo: Hey, I saw you back on the highway!
    Yuber: Oh, yeah, I remember you.  How could a kid like you ever bear a True
    Rune?  Life has strange twists, I guess.
    Hugo: Damn!
    Masked Man: Let's get on with this, shall we?  I'm a very busy man.
    Hugo: I won't give you the rune!  This is a token to show that I took over the
    spirit of the Flame Champion!!!
    Masked Man: Go ahead and resist.  It'll give me a chance to practice my powers
    of persuasion!
    
    [Three Chimeras appear]
    
    Masked Man: So, shall we get started, Flame Champion?
    
    [Fight with Masked Man, Sarah, Yuber and the chimeras]
    
    [Party loses]
    
    Masked Man: You'd better admit defeat and give us the rune.
    Sana: No, please don't!
    Hugo: Don't come any closer!
    Masked Man: You're asking the impossible.
    Hugo: Stop right there!
    
    [The spirit of Flame Champion appears.]
    
    Masked Man: What was that?  Was it the spirit of the last Flame Champion?
    Yuber: It's just more futile resistance.
    Sarah: Please, hold it there.  The gate has just been opened....
    Sgt. Joe: What's going on?  Somebody, tell me!
    Nash: What's going on?
    Ace: Boss!!!!  What happened?  Where am I?
    Masked Man: What's happening?
    Albert: This place is filled with traces of the last Flame Champion's aura.  It
    is not advisable to fight here.  Sarah.
    Sarah: Yes, sir.
    Masked Man: Why?  Why can't we do as we choose?  Is this the spirit force of
    the rune?
    Hugo: Stop!  Stop right there!  No!  Don't run away!
    Masked Man: I will leave the run with you for the time being, but I will be
    back soon....
    
    [The Destroyers vanish]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hey!  What's going on?  Where the hell am I?
    
    [Scene fades until Hugo wakes up in Chisha Village]
    
    [Party wins]
    
    Masked Man: It can't be...
    Yuber: I can't believe my eyes.  You can't have awakened the power of the True
    Rune already.
    Albert: Impossible....
    Masked Man: I guess we have to admit it....
    Sana: Be careful!  He's using the True Rune's power!!!!
    Hugo: Damn!!!
    
    Masked Man: What was that?  Was it the spirit of the last Flame Champion?
    Yuber: It's just more futile resistance.
    Sarah: Please, hold it there.  The gate has just been opened....
    Sgt. Joe: What's going on?  Somebody, tell me!
    Nash: What's going on?
    Ace: Boss!!!!  What happened?  Where am I?
    Masked Man: What's happening?
    Albert: This place is filled with traces of the last Flame Champion's aura.  It
    is not advisable to fight here.  Sarah.
    Sarah: Yes, sir.
    Masked Man: Why?  Why can't we do as we choose?  Is this the spirit force of
    the rune?
    Hugo: Stop!  Stop right there!  No!  Don't run away!
    Masked Man: I will leave the run with you for the time being, but I will be
    back soon....
    
    [Hugo wakes up in Chisha village]
    
    Hugo: Unh?  This is strange.  Where am I?
    Sgt. Joe: Look, it's Hugo!  Hello!  You ought to know where you are.  You've
    been here before.  You're in Chisha Village.
    Hugo: How can this be?  I thought... I escaped from the cave where the Flame
    Champion was lying and...
    Sgt. Joe: You fainted, that's all.  And you gave us quite a scare!  Sana said
    it could have been because you used your True Rune power...  You look exhausted!
    Hugo: I think I remember something... but it's all fuzzy.  Hey, Sergeant, what's
    happening outside?
    Sgt. Joe: Quite a bit, actually.  There's a broad representation of clans out
    there.  Let's see, there's the Karaya Clan, the Lizard Clan, and the ironheads,
    along with Harmonian mercenaries...  I can't believe they're not fighting by
    now.
    Hugo: Why are they all here?
    Sgt. Joe: Chief Lucia and Salome, one of the Zexen ironheads, agreed that the
    conflict was the responsibility of the Harmonian army.  Even if it's true, no
    one will believe it.  Especially not the Lizards.  Their chief was murdered,
    you know.  They won't be easy to placate.
    Hugo: That is true.  I won't be appeased easily, either.  I'll never forget
    Lulu.
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Hugo: But still...
    
    Salome: It's like I told you.  The Harmonian army cast a phantom spell.  Don't
    you understand?  The images you saw weren't real!
    Dupa: We really saw you, with our own eyes!  Are you telling us to trust an
    ironhead's tale before we trust our own eyes?
    Salome: We're doing exactly what the Harmonian army wants us to do.  Fight
    amongst ourselves, so we're too disorganized to fight them!
    Beecham: And was that imaginary blood that spilled in Karaya Village?
    Percival: We all need our own land to survive.  Do you want to hand yours over
    to Harmonia?
    Bazba: The Harmonian army has no invaded for decades.  They're afraid of us
    because we held them back with our hero, the Flame Champion!!
    Lucia: Hugo....
    Hugo: Mom.
    Bazba: The rune of the Flame Champion now belongs to Hugo, the son of Chief
    Lucia, chief of Karaya, one of the Six Clans.  We can never lose now that we
    have the new Flame Champion with us!  Neither Harmonia nor Zexen can defeat us!
    Hugo: .........
    Hugo: Hear me now!  I am the bearer of the True Fire Rune.  It's in my right
    hand.  I have taken over the rune left by the hero [Flame Champion], and his
    spirit as well!  I really wanted to be a hero.  A powerful one, too!  And I
    wanted to promise to never repeat the events of that night when I lost my
    friend Lulu.  But I wanted to take revenge against you, Chris, to avenge Lulu's
    death.
    Chris: .........
    Hugo: But then I was upset when I saw you fight for the Chisha Clan.  I didn't
    want an ironhead fighting for Grassland.  You were supposed to be our enemy!
    But now... after everything that's happened... I think I understand.  It's
    simple.
    You couldn't let people be slaughtered senselessly before your own eyes.  Not
    anyone!  It's that simple.  And I'm sure the Flame Champion [Flame Champion]
    felt the same way too.  I fought with the Harmonian magicians in the cave of
    the Flame Champion!!  They said they were looking for the rune.  Harmonia has
    no fear of Grassland, and....
    Lizard Fighter: They're coming!  The Harmonian army...  So many of them!!  What
    shall we do?
    Dupa: What?
    Salome: Oh no!  It's too late!
    Bazba: Let's move!
    Lucia: Everyone!  Keep up!
    Salome: Milady, we should be off as well.  I'm not sure what we can accomplish,
    but...
    Chris: Yes.  Let's go.    Hugo, you are overestimating me.  I am a knight, and
    I never hesitate to bloody my sword in battle.  Yet... What you said just now
    rings true as well.  I guess I must seem like a hypocrite.
    
    Caesar: How could they be so hot-blooded?  Hugo, are you going too?
    Hugo: Yep!
    Caesar: All right.  I won't stop you, Flame Champion.  But do be careful...
    this
    isn't going to be an easy battle, you know.
    
    Dupa: Let's see what the Harmonian army is made of!
    Bazba: Oh!  Oh!
    Lucia: Dupa, let's not be careless.
    Dupa: They've been frightened of us for dozens of years.  We have no reason to
    fear them now!
    Albert: At last you appear.  But you hardly look ready to fight.
    Yuber: That's a very sad army, if you can even call it an army!
    
    Chris: There they are!  To arms!
    Salome: Follow Captain Chris!
    Dupa: We thought you ran away.
    Chris: No such coward exists among our knights.
    Lucia: Never mind that now.  Just be sure not to have any accidents.
    
    Lucia: How many are there?  There's no end in sight!
    Lizard Fighter: Alert!  More Harmonian units are invading from the north and
    south!
    Dupa: If more units come from those directions...
    Salome: Chief Dupa, Chief Lucia, retreat now!  If not, you'll be blocked from
    both sides!
    Lucia: Hmmm.... We don't seem to have a choice.
    Dupa: Give the signal!  Retreat to the Duck Clan Village!
    Chris: We must retreat, too!
    Masked Bishop: Excellent.  Pursue them.
    
    Sgt. Joe: This is hell.
    Apple: That wasn't just Harmonia's regional army.  They also sent a unit from
    their main force.  I didn't expect them to be so determined.
    Caesar: I guess they're really afraid of the Flame Champion.
    
    Salome: We have to help them, or they'll never succeed.  Understand?
    Dupa: Ahem!  We lost because you were right behind us.  We couldn't drop back
    and reconnoiter.
    Salome: Don't you trust us?  We're trying to help.
    Lucia: It's hard for us to forget former enemies.
    Salome: Don't think about forgiving or forgetting.  Think of working as allies
    to defeat a common enemy.
    
    Zexen Soldier: Lady Chris!!  The Harmonian army has come into view!!!!
    Chris: What?  That can't be!
    Percival: They must be pushing their advances forward so we don't have the
    chance to organize an attack.  They must think we're fools!
    Zexen Soldier: No, it's a completely new battalion!
    Salome: Then that makes three they've unleashed upon us!  This is unbelievable!
    Chris: ...............
    
    Lucia: A third unit?  How many units are they sending?
    Dupa: We have the Duck Clan, and reinforcements from the Great Hollow will be
    here any minute.  We'll show them who's boss!
    Chris: You don't intend to face them head on, do you?  That would be suicide!
    It's mad!
    Beecham: This is our way.  You may be craftier than us, but we will give it our
    all!
    Salome: I beg your pardon?
    Dupa: I don't care how you fight, just do it!  We'll do our part our own way.
    We'll be waiting for you, if you want to join us.  Just fall in behind.
    Chris: Damn!  This will not work.
    
    Sgt. Joe: Shall we get going too?  They will be needing a hand.
    Apple: Hold on!  If we're not careful, we could fall into their trap.  We have
    another job to do.
    Hugo: Another job?
    Apple: Yes, I think the Harmonian army is too big to be real.  We had the first
    battalion, then two more advanced on both sides.  And now another one!  I bet
    they're using a magician to conjure up phantoms.
    Sgt. Joe: You think the advancing garrison is a bunch of ghosts?
    Apple: Maybe not all, but at least half of them are phantom images.
    Sgt. Joe: So what do we do?
    Apple: To pull off such a huge deception, the magician has to focus all of his
    attention on his task.  If we attack them suddenly, right where they least
    expect it-
    Hugo: The entire apparition will disappear.
    Sgt. Joe: I get it, but where is the magician?  Do we know?
    Caesar: Sure.
    
    [Caesar walks up with Aila]
    
    Hugo: Aila, good to see you!
    Aila: You too, Hugo.  It hasn't been easy for either of us.
    Caesar: Okay!  I've prepared the plans.  It took some doing to persuade them to
    send a messenger, but it's part of my job.  So I can't complain.
    Sgt. Joe: Where is the mage?
    Aila: Leave it to me.  Just before the Karaya Village was attacked, I saw a
    sorceress.  She was showing off her vanishing tricks.  I know her face by heart
    and I can ask the spirits to find her and the magician.
    Sgt. Joe: That's encouraging.
    Caesar: Well then, Hugo, shall we get started?  We'll reveal their hoax and
    destroy them!
    Hugo: Yeah!  Let's go!
    Sgt. Joe: We'll show them what we're made of!
    
    [Battle Starts]
    Dupa: We shall defend Grassland till victory!
    Lucia: If we fail now, there is no next time!
    Yuber: How kind of these weaklings to return for my enjoyment.
    Sarah: Hold your cravings, Yuber.  Remember our goal.
    Yuber: How can I forget with you here?  But all work and no play...
    
    [Two rounds pass]
    
    KarayaFtr: What is this?!
    Lucia: What?
    Beecham: Le Buque has sent forces, too!
    Franz: We may have lost the battle at Chisha Village, but now we'll win the
    war!
    MntrLegnnr: Attack!
    
    [Two more rounds]
    
    Sarah: Just...one...second
    Dupa: By my ancestors!  The enemy still appears!
    Lucia: Spirits!  How many of them are there?
    Yuber: Haha!  Move in for the kill!
    
    Lucia: Dupa, we'll be slaughtered like this.
    Dupa: We have nowhere to retreat.
    Beecham: This isn't how I expected it to finish.
    Chris: Lucia, Dupa - fall back now!  We'll hold them off.
    Dupa: A foolish Zexen to the very end.  There is nowhere to go!
    Chris: I've already sent word to Brass Castle.  Go there immediately!
    Lucia: And face imprisonment?  I'll take my chances on the battlefield!
    Salome: This is your last chance to trust us.
    Dupa: Hmmm...
    Lucia: There is no choice.  We... will go.  For now.
    Chris: You said it yourself; there is no choice.
    Percival: Now that we've promised to rout the enemy, you can tell me how we're
    going to do that...
    Salome: We don't need to attack.  We just need to hold them until their
    magicians are vulnerable.
    Chris: Now we'll show what it means to be Zexen Knights.
    
    [Battle ends and scene switches to Hugo's party]
    
    Hugo: There they are....
    Aila: That's her!
    Caesar: Remember, we just have to make her lose focus.
    Hugo: Uh-huh.
    Harmonian Soldier: Hey!  Who's this?
    Harmonian Soldier: What is it?
    
    Hugo: You must be the mage!
    Aila: I don't know what you are up to, lady!!!
    Sarah: What?  Damn!  I can't focus....
    Harmonian Soldier: Guard her!
    
    Hugo: Hmmm.  The Harmonian army's not such a big deal after all.
    Aila: You think we're afraid of your phantoms?  Hah!  Where are they now?  It's
    just you and me, lady!
    Sarah: You...are the bearer of the True Fire Rune....
    Hugo: Last time, the rune saved me, but this time, I will do it on my own!
    
    Sarah: Damn it!  This will be disastrous.
    Hugo: Come on, just a little bit more!
    
    Yuber: No, I won't let you.  We still need her.
    
    [Three monsters show up, Sarah and Yuber vanish]
    
    Hugo: Stop!!!!!
    Caesar: That's okay.  We've accomplished what we came for.  Let's return to the
    Brass Castle.
    
    Caesar: For now, we've averted the total destruction of our army.
    Hugo: Yeah, but we can't go on like this.
    Caesar: Not to worry.  I've got a plan.  You can count on me to always have
    something up my sleeve.
    
    Lucia: I didn't expect the Harmonian army to be so overwhelming.
    Dupa: I never thought our army could be defeated!
    Salome: If the Zexen Knights fight alongside the Grassland forces in the next
    battle...
    Caesar: If things continue to decline, you know what will happen.  Harmonia
    will occupy this land, and you'll all become third class citizens and be
    treated like slaves.
    Dupa: What are you trying to tell me?
    Caesar: I want to help you.
    Dupa: You?  You think you can help me?  What can a wimp like you do for the
    likes of us?
    Caesar: A battle is more than a bunch of steel clashing together!  Lord Salome,
    you take things for granted.
    Salome: What do you mean by that?
    Caesar: You presume too much!  Even with total Zexen and Grassland cooperation
    the Harmonian army will still overwhelm you.
    Salome: Then what do you suggest we do, Lord Caesar?
    Caesar: Our only chance of winning is by uniting Zexen, Grasslands, the tribes
    up north and the neighboring countries into one cohesive fighting force.
    Dupa: You make a good speech, but who are you, anyway?  I'm tired of your
    bragging.
    Caesar: If that's what it takes to get you to listen, I'll tell you.  My family
    served as chief strategists for the Royal Army in the Dunan Unification Wars
    and did the same for the liberation army in the Gate Rune Wars.  Chief Lucia,
    you should know my grandfather, Leon Silverberg.
    Dupa: Is this so, Lucia?
    Lucia: Yes, I was with the Royal Highland Army 15 years ago, so I can vouch for
    him.  His ideas are sound, so we should consider them.  But, I see two
    problems.  Who's going to lead this unified army?  The Knights wouldn't want to
    follow our orders, nor we theirs.  So, what's the answer?
    Caesar: [Flame Champion], the Flame Champion, is the only person who can do it.
    Lucia: Hmm.  But there is yet another problem.
    
    [Screen fades out, we can see all the wounded soldiers and everyone is outside]
    
    Lucia: After seeing the size of the Harmonian army, everyone feels hopeless and
    helpless.  We realize we must unify to fight back, but don't know where to
    begin.  Men don't just hear a plan and know how to implement it, do they,
    Caesar Silverberg?
    Caesar: I guess so.  It's not that simple.
    
    [Go find Sgt. Joe]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hi, Hugo.  What brings you out here?
    Hugo: Just wondering what you're doing, Sergeant.
    Sgt. Joe: I'm on lookout.  The enemy might attack at any minute, you know.
    Hugo: The colossal Harmonian army will advance sooner or later.  Do you think
    we have a chance to defeat them?
    Sgt. Joe: If you're asking what I think our odds are, I can't say.  There are
    no guarantees in war.  The only thing you can be sure of is that if we lose, we
    won't get a second chance.  Does that make sense to you?
    Hugo: Sergeant....
    Sgt. Joe: Hmmm...
    Hugo: Sorry.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, the only thing I can do is keep a lookout.  But, you should be
    able to make a real difference.  After all, you have the True Fire Rune in your
    right hand.  You're the Flame Champion's successor.  Think about that.
    Hugo: I see.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, you want to be a hero, don't you?  Think about Lulu.
    Hugo: Okay.  I'll try, Sergeant.  But I don't know how far I can go....
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo!  You sound pathetic!  If you are the one, you must hold your
    head up and say "leave everything to me."  That's what a hero would do!
    Hugo: Sergeant....
    Sgt. Joe: Now, off you go!  The Grasslands need a hero.
    Hugo: Yes, and I'll be the one!!
    
    [Hugo walks off]
    
    Hugo: I am Hugo, from the Karaya Clan.
    
    [Everyone looks at him funny]
    
    Hugo: I was born and raised in the Grasslands.  I didn't know the outside world
    until recently.  Take Zexen, for instance.  All I knew of it was its name.
    Now, things are different.  I've seen the Grasslands and Zexen with my own
    eyes.  I was shocked at what I saw.  We, the people of the Grasslands, have
    looked down on the Zexens as people not blessed by the spirits.  And those
    living in Zexen think of us as barbarians.  This mindset has gone on for ages.
    The True Fire Rune I bear in my right hand keeps memories of the late Flame
    Champion, [Flame Champion].  It's taught me that human history is filled with
    wars and conflicts.  The spirits of fire were seldom at rest, and peace never
    lasted very long.  No matter how difficult the task, the Flame Champion never
    gave up!  He fought to protect the Grasslands!  He sacrificed everything to
    protect his loved ones!!  Sometimes a hero has to sacrifice everything!  I
    couldn't protect my friend, my best friend.  But that didn't make me give up.
    I don't want to go through that misery again!  Do you?  Who do you want to
    protect?  What do you want to protect?  Which memories do you want to protect?
    Do you really want these destroyed now?  I can't let that happen!  I won't!
    Forget the differences between the Grasslands and Zexen!  It's time we fought
    together to protect what we cherish!  Why not go and fight?  Let's do it!  You
    say the Grasslands and Zexen can't unite?  Can't we just do this for the time
    being?
    
    Zexen Soldier: Yes!  That's right!
    Lizard Fighter: Yes!  We'll never give up!
    Karaya Fighter: Yes!  The bearer of the True Fire Rune, the successor to the
    Flame Champion, is here with us!  We will win!
    Zexen Knight: This is a time to fight together!  Under the name of the Flame
    Champion!
    Hugo: I swear by the Rune in my right hand that I will be the Flame Champion,
    [Flame Champion]'s successor and heir to his power, and that I will fight to
    protect this land as [Flame Champion] would have done!
    Lizard Fighter: Yeah!  Oh, yeah!
    Duck Fighter: Flame Champion, Hugo!  We come together once again under your new
    leadership!
    Zexen Soldier: To protect this land!!
    
    [Cheers erupt among the group]
    
    Caesar: I guess this is it.
    Lucia: We might even have a chance to win.
    Dupa: We wouldn't mind staking our lives on the Flame Champion.
    Salome: Absolutely.  This is the birth of a new hero, I should say.
    Apple: Hero....
    
    Caesar: Well done.  You are the Flame Champion, kid.
    Hugo: Thanks.  I was almost too excited to follow what I was saying!
    Caesar: You did well.  But now you have to show your worth, and it's my job to
    help you.  Are you ready, Hugo?
    Hugo: Yes, I am ready anytime.
    Caesar: All right, this will be our first battle.
    
    [Battle begins]
    
    Dios: From that castle, it's a straight line to the Zexen capital, Vinay del
    Zexay...
    Sasarai: I see.  If we were only searching for runes, all this wouldn't be
    necessary...
    Albert: The Grassland clans thinks they've beaten Harmonia.  They must be shown
    the bitter reality.  It is imperative that Harmonia firmly crushes Grassland
    and the surrounding kingdoms.
    Sasarai: But only because Hikusaak has personally ordered so.
    Dios: Listen....  It's too quiet.  Could this mean they've given up?
    Yuber: It doesn't look like it....
    Hugo: I will speak to the Harmonian chief!
    Sasarai: I am in command of this army.
    Hugo: There is an agreement between Harmonia and the Flame Champion that
    Grassland not  be invaded.  Do not break that agreement!
    Sasarai: Unlike Grassland's sense of humor, that agreement was never meant to
    be eternal.  The agreement has long since expired.  Accept it.
    Hugo: In my right hand is the True Fire Rune bequeathed to me by the Flame
    Champion.  Under the flag of the Fire Bringers, I lead the warriors of
    Grasslands and Zexen into battle against you!
    Lucia: The Karaya Clan will fight to the death under the leadership of the
    Flame Champion!
    Dupa: The Lizard Clan will die before it runs!  Those who challenge us will pay
    the consequences!
    Chris: The Zexen Knights raise their blades for the Zexen Federation and for
    peace in Grassland!
    Hugo: In the name of the Fire Bringer, I demand that you retreat or face the
    same annihilation as 50 years ago!
    Dios: 50 years ago?  The mysterious explosion that ended it all?
    Sasarai: The Champion appears to possess the True Fire Rune.  In that light,
    those words carry a different weight.
    Albert: But the seal of the True Fire Rune was broken only recently.  How
    could...
    Dios: This calls for a dose of caution.  But withdraw no more than half the
    forces.  That still leaves enough to take the castle if...`
    
    [If all units are defeated before reinforcements arrive]
    
    Hugo: It worked!
    Sgt. Joe: They're on the run!
    Louis: We win!  We win!
    Bazba: Victory!
    Caesar: Don't be surprised.  After all, I was here.
    Albert: Caesar!  You are with them?!
    Caesar: Afraid so, Albert.  If you're going to help Harmonia, then I will help
    the Grassland stand against you!
    Albert: Still being sweet to weaklings, I see.  What will be gained by this?
    You'd understand if you had the blood of Leon, our grandfather.  History is
    shaped by the individual.  Don't you think so, little brother?
    Caesar: Silence!  I have no more relation to you!  The world will not be the
    way you want it, on my oath!
    Albert: Pitiful...
    
    ZxnInf: More forces!  We can't possibly win...
    Caesar: Relax, they're ours.
    
    [Three units appear]
    
    Mua: The Kamaro Alliance of Free Knights!
    Hallec: Uwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!  We repay debt to Flame Champion!
    Uwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!
    Thomas: Is it, um, finished?
    Piccolo: Ho ho ho ho!
    
    [One more unit appears]
    
    Lilly: Hmm?  It looked like the enemy was here.  They must have wandered off.
    Reed: Now, milady, please stop.  Must you insist on insulting the Flame
    Champion?
    Lilly: I will not be made a fool of!  How dare the Flame Champion appear  after
    we returned to Tinto, I will speak with him - or else!
    Samus: But milady, that is no excuse to call on the Tinto army.
    Lilly: What?!  Did you say something?
    Samus, Reed: Noooo, milady.
    Lilly: It wasn't a total loss.  We did pick up some usable things from the
    Harmonian supply unit.
    
    [Battle ends]
    
    Karaya Fighter: Oh!!!  Here comes our Flame Champion!
    Lizard Fighter: You were the key to our victory!  We wouldn't have won without
    you!
    Karaya Fighter: Hugo!!!  Our hero!!!  We're all very proud of you.
    Zexen Knight: We'll be proud to fight alongside you.
    Sgt. Joe: You sure are popular around here.
    Mua: It was a close victory, so they are very happy.
    Hallec: Wheeeoohhh!!!!  We shed our blood in war for the Flame Champion!!!
    Fubar: Kueeeeeeeee!!!
    Sgt. Joe: Shut it!  Just shut it!!!!
    
    [Lilly arrives]
    
    Lilly: Is that you, Hugo?  It's been a long time!  You know, you had some nerve
    to leave without me.
    Hugo: Ohhhhh, ah, I'm sorry, Lilly.
    Reed: You must be joking, Miss!  Weren't you going back to Tinto because the
    caravan hadn't arrived?
    Lilly: Be quiet!  By the way, I heard the Flame Champion is around.  Where is
    he?  Tell me!
    Hugo: Well...
    Lilly: What?
    
    [Lilly turns around and everyone is pointing at Hugo]
    
    Lilly: Really?!!  You're the Flame Champion?!!  Why didn't you tell me?!!
    
    Lilly: I see, now I get it.
    Sgt. Joe: Ohhhh!  That took a while...
    Lilly: All right, count me in.  I don't want to see the Grasslands taken over
    by Harmonia.
    Reed: Ms. Lilly!
    Lilly: I will join the Fire Bringer tomorrow.  I don't mind being co-leader,
    Hugo.
    Samus: Phew... Tough luck, buddy.
    
    [Inside Brass castle]
    
    Dupa: Return of our hero, I suppose.
    Lucia: Dupa.
    Dupa: I'm not being skeptical.  I know we must cooperate and follow the
    leadership of the new successor.
    Salome: Then you agree to the cease-fire and to combine forces until this
    situation is settled?
    Lucia: Yes.  The Karaya Clan will join as Fire Bringer.  We'll forget our prior
    animosities for now.
    Dupa: Same with the Lizard Clan.  We must do everything in our power to
    survive.
    Duck Chief: We, of the Duck Clan, were the first to rise to the call of the
    Flame Champion.  We will be there again.
    Mua: As a representative of the Kamaro Free Knights, I declare our willingness
    to join as Fire Bringer.
    Hallec: We too will join to repay for the past debts of gratitude we owe.
    Thomas: Good enough!  We will help, as well.
    Lilly: You know what I'm about to say.  There's no way we'll stand by and watch
    Harmonia take over!
    Salome: Hugo, we pledge to follow you as the leader of the Fire Bringer.
    Hugo: To be true to the name "Flame Champion" and to end this war, let us unite
    our forces against our enemy!
    Dupa: Well said.
    Chris: Our next step will be to set up headquarters for the Fire Bringer.  The
    Brass Castle may serve to protect Zexen, but it's too far from the Grasslands.
    Dupa: I doubt that the Great Hollow will work.  It's not well-suited for
    humans, you see.
    Duck Chief: How about Duck Clan Village?  Although... half of the village is on
    boats...
    Thomas: Well, how about our castle?  It may be a little dilapidated, but it's
    big enough, and we are located between the Grasslands and Zexen.
    Salome: Tell us more.
    Thomas: Oh, of course, yes...
    
    [Pause and fade out while Thomas tells about it]
    
    Lucia: It seems like the right choice.  Let's make it so.
    Dupa: I hope you don't mind, Master Thomas.
    Thomas: No, not at all, sir.  The people at the castle will be glad to help!
    
    [Everyone else leaves]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Shall we head to Budehuc Castle?
    Apple: Choose your entourage, Hugo.  I think everybody will be glad to come
    with you as leaders of the Fire Bringer.
    
    [Pick a party]
    
    Caesar: We'll catch up with you later.  Don't waste time getting there.
    Hugo: Of course not.
    
    [Arrive at Budehuc]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Ah, this is better than I thought.
    Sebastian: Of course, Budehuc has a long history too.  It was originally built
    in-
    Sgt. Joe: And this ship in the back-what is it?
    Sebastian: Oh, ah, this is...
    Caesar: It's a good location, and we have more than enough room.
    Apple: Let me give you your rooms and make the arrangements.
    Thomas: Please, feel free.  By the way, Eike should know where things are
    around the castle.  He's likeable, once you get to know him.
    Apple: ?
    Lucia: I suggest we settle in and get things under control here.  We may be a
    united force now, but it wouldn't be smart to face the Harmonian army right
    away.
    Salome: Exactly.  We should be organized as well as united.
    Dupa: Absolutely.  By the way, can you do something about these beds?  I'll
    wake up with a sore back at this rate.
    Thomas: Esteemed Hugo, you must be tired.  I will show you to your room.
    Hugo: My room?
    Thomas: Yes, this way, please.  The room is ready.
    Hugo: Thanks.
    
    {Head to the room, which is actually Thomas' quarters]
    
    Thomas: Please use this room for the time being.  It's the best one in the
    castle.
    Hugo: Oh, thanks.
    Thomas: Take a look around, if you like.  A lot has changed over the years.
    Hugo: Thanks.
    Thomas: No problem.  Well then, please excuse me.
    
    [Arrive to the Great Hollow]
    
    Hugo: What's that?
    
    [Jimba can be seen running off]
    
    Hugo: That looks like Jimba to me.
    Emily: What's he up to in such a out-of-the-way place?
    Ace: He seemed to be in a hurry.
    Mel: Is he after something?
    
    [Arrive to that familiar spot, and oh look, some Destroyers]
    
    Yuber: Make sure the door opens this time.  We can't afford further delays.
    Sarah: Yuber!
    Masked Bishop: Don't worry.  We should be fine now that the True Fire Rune has
    been unsealed.  There's also the reemergence of the True Lightning Rune and the
    breaking of the seal kept by Alma Kinan to help us along.
    
    [The door opens this time]
    
    Hugo: Damn!  Not him again!
    
    [And  the ground starts shaking]
    
    Mel: What on earth is it?
    
    Masked Bishop: The door is opening!
    
    [And obviously, the door is now open]
    
    Sarah: Finally, the first one.
    Yuber: At last.
    
    Hugo: What's he up to?
    
    [Inside the ruins]
    
    Hugo: What the heck is this place?
    Emily: My gut tells me this is the final resting place of the Flame Champion.
    Ace: We can't let them get away.  Quickly!  The chase is on!
    Mel: I guess you have a point.
    
    [Going back to the castle]
    
    Cecile: The Flame Champion is back!!  Please, Hugo, hurry up and come over
    here!
    Hugo: So, what's up?
    Cecile: A message has arrived from the Lizard Clan, so everyone is gathered in
    the hall!  They were looking for you too, Hugo.  Please join them right away!
    
    [Go to the meeting room]
    
    Caesar: Perfect timing, Hugo.
    Hugo: What's going on?
    Lucia: Good to see you back, Hugo.  We received a message from Jimba.
    Hugo: Jimba?  I saw him at the Great Hollow.  He was entering the highway.
    Caesar: So the message is authentic.
    Hugo: What about it?
    Caesar: The problem is how to interpret it: apparently now that the True Fire
    Rune has been unleashed, the same is about to happen to the True Water Rune.
    The Rune is at the Ruins of Cyndar at the end of the highway.
    Salome: Based on the information we have, we believe that the masked Bishop of
    Harmonia is collecting all the True Runes.
    Apple: As a national policy, Holy Harmonia is collecting the True Runes.  This
    latest move must be a part of that effort.
    Dupa: What happens if they get the Water Rune?
    Lucia: The 27 True Runes give immortality and strong power to their bearers.  I
    have seen that power executed once.  Its effect is beyond all imagination.  A
    human should never be allowed to use it.
    Caesar: We can't let them get the True Water Rune.  Hugo, take our best men and
    get to the highway at once.  We'll be right behind you.  If this involves a
    True Rune, your True Fire Rune might come in handy.
    
    [Get further inside the ruins]
    
    Hugo: Uh-oh.  They're too far ahead of me.
    Sarah: Sorry, but you can't go further!
    Hugo: You!!!
    Sarah: They're conducting a very important ritual just beyond here, so I can't
    let you pass.
    Hugo: Ritual?  What ritual this time?
    Sarah: It would be impossible for you to grasp out ultimate goal.  Please go
    back!
    Viki: If you don't mind my saying, I think it'd be a mistake to go back.
    
    [Sarah summons some monsters]
    
    Sarah: Then, I will have to keep you occupied.
    
    [Defeat them]
    
    Sarah: This is exasperating!  Stop trying to go where you don't belong!
    
    [The ground shakes and Sarah falls to her knees]
    
    Hugo: Ooops, what is it?
    
    [The shaking eventually stops and the whole place is covered in ice]
    
    Emily: What is this?
    Hugo: What the heck was that?  An explosion?
    Sarah: Does this have something to do with the power of the rune?  Did
    something go wrong?
    
    [Sarah goes running towards the enter]
    
    Hugo: Stop, stop right there!!!
    
    [Hugo and party run after her]
    
    Hugo: Whoa!  Where'd she disappear to?  What just happened?
    
    [Go further in]
    
    Hugo: God!  What is this?
    Viki: Excuse me, but there's something approaching.
    
    [Yay, battle]
    
    Hugo: Whew!  That was a close one!
    
    [Everyone else shows up]
    
    Caesar: Sorry, Hugo.  It took longer than I thought to get ready.
    Lucia: What really happened here?  Is it the True Water Rune?
    Apple: I think so.  We must hurry, Hugo!  If the True Rune had been awakened,
    we have only seen a fraction of its awesome power!
    
    [Further in, can see the other Destroyers, including Yuber kicking Jimba while
    he's down]
    
    Sarah: What happened?  Are you okay?
    Masked Bishop: I'm fine, Sarah.
    Sarah: Luc!  Master Luc, I can't live without you...
    
    [And the party catches up]
    
    Hugo: There he is!!
    Lucia: Jimba!!!!
    
    [They run to him]
    
    Lucia: Jimba!!!!
    Jimba: You're not going to believe this, Chief Lucia.  I've screwed things up!
    I can't even repay you for what you've done for me.
    Lucia: What happened, Jimba?  What caused this?
    Hugo: Jimba!!!
    Jimba: Hugo... So you became the Flame Champion....
    Hugo: Jimba....
    Jimba: I'm running out of time.  Chris, will you come over here please?
    Chris: What are you going to do with me?
    Jimba: Chris, listen to me.  The True Water Rune is kept sealed here.  Before
    it gets taken away, I've been trying to put it back into my right hand.  I
    failed.  The Rune was partially released....  If you keep it like this, its
    power
    will go out of control-just like 50 years ago.....
    
    [A flashback]
    
    Lizard Fighter: Where is the Flame Champion?  Where is [Flame Champion]?
    Karaya Fighter: Damn!  If this continues, we're all finished!
    Alma Kinan Fighter: What is that?!
    
    [Back to the present]
    
    Chris: So what do you want me to do?
    Jimba: Contain the force of this True Water Rune.  That possessed girl from
    Alma Kinan showed you the power you have within you.  You were chosen by the
    Rune, so you can do this.  Hurry up....
    Chris: Me?
    Caesar: But do we have enough time?  We have to contain the Rune immediately,
    or it'll go out of control!
    Chris: Was I really chosen by the Rune?
    
    [Chris walks up to where the Rune is, it calms down and she gains True Water]
    
    Chris: Puff, puff, puff....
    Jimba: Chris....
    Chris: So, you....
    Jimba: Well-It's time.... I must pay the price for failing.  My tie with the
    Water Rune-my attachment to this land and this world-is over.  Old heroes
    should die eventually.  To wish to have an eternal life... is unnatural, after
    all.
    Chris: Father...
    Jimba: Goodbye, Chris.  I was not a good father to you....
    
    [Jimba dies and his body vanishes]
    
    Hugo: Jimba!  Jimba!!!
    Lucia: .........
    
    Chris: I never wanted this to happen!
    
    Geddoe: The three True Runes that once belonged to the Fire Bringer have no
    emerged.  This is....
    Caesar: This could foreshadow another possible victory over Holy Harmonia.  We
    should get back.  It is not good to be away from the Budehuc Castle too long.
    
    End of chapter 4
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Chapter 5 [ChHugo5]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [Hugo returns to Budehuc]
    
    Sebastian: Welcome back!  You must be exhausted.
    
    [They go to Hugo's quarters]
    
    Sebastian: Would you care to retire and call it a day?
    Hugo: I'm exhausted!
    Sebastian: Well then, please rest.  I will prepare some hot water for you.
    
    [The scene changes to Sasarai and Nash, appears to be Crystal Valley]
    
    Sasarati: So, as expected, his intentions were...
    Nash: Yes, it appears he is after the Five Elemental Runes for his own personal
    gain, and not for the benefit of Harmonia.  It's likely they had something to
    do with the riots in the Lizard and Karaya Clans.  This is before we tried to
    move their armies.
    Sasarai: We should act quickly.    What-?  Who's there?
    
    [You can see Luc hiding behind a pillar]
    
    Luc: It took you long enough to notice me.  You should be more careful.
    Nash: You are... Bishop Sasarai's...
    Sasarai: Well, well, well.  It's been fifteen years.
    Luc: That's right, my brother.  And you seem to have spent the past fifteen
    years idling away your time.
    Nash: I ordered everyone to leave the room.  Do you intend to defy temple
    traditions?
    Luc: That no longer concerns me.  Sasarai, give me your True Earth Rune.  I
    thought I could leave this for the end, but my plan has somehow gone awry.
    Sasarai: What?  Who do you think you are?
    Luc: You want to know who I think I am?  Oh yes, I'll tell you who we are, you
    and me.
    
    [The scene fades back to Budehuc without knowing how that ends]
    
    Hugo: What is it?
    Cecile: Oh, Hugo!  He collapsed upon his arrival.
    Franz: I came... because I heard the Flame Champion is stationed here.
    Please...
    could I see him?
    Hugo: The Flame Champion?
    Cecile: Are you all right?
    Hugo: Just take him inside.
    
    [Franz joins despite collapsing and head inside to go speak with the others]
    
    Sebastian: Excuse me, is something wrong?
    
    [Thomas and Sebastian come running from upstairs]
    
    Hugo: He was going to do something here, but he collapsed before I could
    question him.  We'll find out when he wakes up.
    Thomas: Yes, yes, of course.  This way, please.
    
    [They head to the war room]
    
    Lucia: Do you mean to say that he came here riding on the back of a large
    insect?  How is that possible?
    Geddoe: He is an insect trainer from Le Buque.  The town used to be part of the
    Grasslands, but Harmonia now occupies it.
    Chris: Something must be brewing in Harmonia to bring him all this way.
    Apple: We haven't heard any reports yet, but there is a rumor circulating...
    Hugo: What rumor is that?
    Salome: Supposedly, one of the bishops is missing.
    Caesar: ......
    
    [Cecile enters with a somewhat recovered Franz]
    
    Lucia: Is this him?
    Cecile: This is Franz from Le Buque.  He requested to see Hugo.
    Franz: I am Franz, leader of the Mantor Legionnaires of Le Buque.  I traveled
    here because I heard that the Flame Champion has reappeared.  Might I meet with
    him, please?
    Hugo: I am Hugo, of the Karaya Clan.  I'm the successor to the Flame Champion's
    rune.
    Franz: You are the Champion?  I think I encountered you at Chisha Village.
    
    [Franz goes down on his knees]
    
    Franz: It embarrasses me to ask you... Please save Le Buque.
    Apple: What happened to Le Buque?
    Franz: The people of Le Buque worked hard for the Harmonia army, thinking it
    would eventually lead to our freedom.  Harmonia treats us like third class
    citizens and imposes heavy taxes; we can't leave our village nor marry without
    their consent.  I fought for Harmonia, believing their promise to upgrade us to
    second class citizens for our wartime service, but...
    Caesar: You  were deceived?
    Franz: Yes.
    Caesar: They grant freedom only when it serves them.  When circumstances
    change, they take it away.
    Franz: Yes, the Harmonia army suddenly accused us of secretly siding with the
    Fire Bringer...  ...and threatened to take the villagers to the Crystal Valley
    as
    hostages.
    Apple: That's crazy!  Taking the villages as hostages?  Do they intend to
    repeat what they did 50 years ago?
    Franz: Please, please help us.  I can't bear to see the villagers and... Iku...
    suffer more.
    Salome: It would not be wise to move the allies now, when they are just now
    organizing into troops.
    Lucia: But if we desert Le Buque now, we could lose the trust of other
    Grassland clans.  Le Buque was once one of us, you know.
    Caesar: That's exactly their plan, to rattle the foundation of an unprepared
    allied force.  If we move our army, we'll fall right into enemy hands.
    Geddoe: Then, I will go.
    Apple: Please, wait.  We can't move our army around haphazardly.
    Geddoe: I will only take my men.  We are used to doing this.  Remember, I was
    once at the Flame Champion's side.  Now, I bear the True Rune in my right hand.
    That should be good enough.
    Apple: That isn't what I meant.
    Geddoe: The former Flame Champion knew what it meant to be a hero.  A hero's
    title is just an illusion.  What matters is living up to that name.  Even if
    it's dangerous.
    Apple: But...
    Caesar: Apple, let him handle this.  I must admit there is no other choice.  A
    military strategist has his limits too, unfortunately.
    
    [Outside Budehuc]
    
    Ace: So much for rest and relaxation.  Looks like we're going to do this, eh?
    Joker: You are always ready for action.  Why complain now?
    Ace: I'm not complaining, just commenting.
    Queen: So, our mission is to sneak into Le Buque to scout and block the
    Harmonian army.  Is that right?
    Geddoe: That is correct.
    Franz: We are eternally grateful for your kindness.
    Queen: Shall we get started, then?
    
    [They all move to leave, Aila comes running]
    
    Aila: They're not leaving me behind!
    
    [Get to the end of the mountain path]
    
    Ace: So how should we proceed, boss?  Dare we go straight in?  Kind of risky...
    Joker: Fill us in on the happenings in Le Buque.
    Franz: When I escaped, there was only about one unit of the Harmonian main army
    there.  They were gathering up women and children, separating them from our
    soldiers.  I barely escaped, but I had to leave my Ruby behind.
    Aila: Ruby?
    Franz: Yeah, my Mantor.
    Aila: Cute name for a Mantor.
    Queen: Well, anyway, we should push forward.  We can think about our strategy
    later, can't we?
    Geddoe: Sure.
    
    [Arrive in Le Buque]
    
    Ace: It sure is quiet around here.
    Queen: Could be a trap.
    Joker: We'd better keep an eye on this young man.
    Franz: What do you mean by that?!
    Joker: We can't be too careful.  Anything's possible.  It's hard to believe
    someone as visible as you and your Mantor could escape detection while trying
    to escape.
    
    [Aila touches the group]
    
    Aila: I don't sense deception.  I think he's okay.
    Ace: Are you 100% sure?
    Aila: People waiting to secret attack are usually nervous, so they smell a
    little like metal.
    Ace: That's very interesting.
    Aila: Shut up!  What worries me is that there are no traces of human presence.
    Geddoe: Let's go.  Aren't we in a hurry?
    Franz: Y-Yes, they've got Iku, too, and....
    
    [Go further in[
    
    Joker: What's going on here?  Have they already left?
    Franz: Damn!  Where is Iku?  Iku!
    
    [Go to Iku's house]
    
    Queen: This is weird.  There's no one here.
    Ace: Hey!  Hold on a second.
    
    [Franz leaves the party, go inside the house]
    
    Franz: Damn it!  It's too late.  I couldn't save my people, I couldn't save
    anyone....  How could they call me a child of Harmonia?!  They didn't know how I
    felt when I was in Crystal Valley!
    Queen: ...............
    Franz: The town in Crystal Valley was so secure and peaceful, it drove me
    crazy.  I never forgot about Le Buque while I was there.
    Queen: Then why give up on Le Buque now?  Maybe you're just trying to make us
    feel sorry for you.
    Franz: Ha!  You think I want your sympathy?  Do you think my love for Le Buque
    is just some kind of show?  You're really something.
    
    [Aila comes running in]
    
    Aila: Hello!  Everyone!  Come this way!
    Ace: What up this time?  The nose knows something new?
    Aila: Shut up and follow me!  Now!
    
    [Go outside, Franz rejoins]
    
    Joker: What is it?
    Jacques: He just landed here on the back of a Mantor.  His wound isn't too bad,
    but....
    Franz: Hey, it's Rick!  Are you all right?  Where is everybody?
    Mantor Legionnaire: Fr-Franz, they are all at the altar of the insect
    trainers.... They said it was a ritual to obtain a True Rune.
    Geddoe: What's he talking about?
    Mantor Legionnaire: That's all I know!  I barely got away!
    Franz: Rick, Rick, pull yourself together.  Come on!
    
    [Some time passes and Rick is taken away]
    
    Queen: I put him to bed for now.  As Jacques said, the wound isn't bad, but
    he's totally exhausted.  He'll be fine with some rest.
    Aila: Now we know where everyone is, right?
    Joker: Just another "lucky" escapee?  Or could he be another lure?  One can't
    believe everything one hears.
    Geddoe: If it is a trap, let us fall into it for once.  I am developing an
    interest in what the masked bishop has to say about his ambitions.
    Ace: Oh no!  Can't we get Mantors to fly us there?  I don't want to have to
    walk up that mountain again!
    Queen: You think we'll all fit on the back of that one bug?
    Ace: Well...
    
    [Head to the altar]
    
    Ace: Here we go again.
    Joker: You have to be careful.  You never know what's inside....
    Queen: Shut up!  Let's get going.  Are you with us or not?
    Joker: I'm with you!
    
    [Further in]
    
    Ace: This should be it-this is the deepest we're going to get inside this cave.
    
    [Franz goes running in, the people of Le Buque can be seen]
    
    Iku: Franz!
    Franz: Are you all right, Iku?
    
    [And barrier prevents him from getting to her]
    
    Franz: What is this?
    
    [Luc can be seen behind a pillar, Sarah also]
    
    Luc: Welcome, everyone!  I've been waiting for you.
    Geddoe: Thanks for the kind invitation.
    Luc: You knew we were going to be here?
    Geddoe: I have a question to ask.  Why are you trying so hard to get the True
    Runes?  What do you want with them?  It should be easy for Holy Harmonia to get
    the runes simply by defeating the Grasslands and Zexen simultaneously.
    Luc: That is quite true, but the results would be completely different from
    what I intend.
    Geddoe: So what do you intend?
    Luc: You should know, since you yourself bear a True Rune.  Living an empty
    life, driven only by the Rune...
    Geddoe: Are you also a True Rune bearer?
    Luc: Yes.  I was born with it.  I have never in my life felt the real world
    with my own hands.  Since I was born, I have only seen the empty and lifeless
    faces of others, mortals, the ephemeral....  How about you?  Have you ever felt
    like you were part of the real world?  Honestly, now.
    Geddoe: I don't have time to talk about the past.
    Luc: I see.  Let's talk business, then.  I want your True Rune.  Not for
    Harmonia, but for myself.
    
    [A bunch of monsters appear]
    
    Luc: This is one of the techniques I learned from my mentor.  It connects this
    world with another one.  I need to use it, because it is becoming difficult to
    deploy the army.
    
    [Battle ensues]
    
    Geddoe: Sorry, pal.  I can't let you have my rune.  Now, you were saying
    something about your intentions...
    Luc: You can't bend me to your will!  Feel my True Wind Rune!!
    
    [He uses a spell that is resisted by Geddoe]
    
    Luc: Ugh!!!!  What... what is this?
    Geddoe: Could it be... the True Lightning Rune?
    Luc: This can't be!
    Geddoe: Apparently, our Runes are equally powerful.
    Sarah: Luc, let me help you.
    
    [Sarah uses some magic and summons a sphere with the True Earth rune]
    
    Sarah: True Earth Rune!  Please help me with your power.
    
    [Everyone falls to their knees]
    
    Luc: You were tough, but it's all over.  Let me take that Rune now.
    Geddoe: NO!  You won't do any such thing!!
    Luc: I am not asking your permission.  We have a special procedure for doing
    this in Harmonia.  It's a particularly painful technique, or so I hear.
    
    [Geddoe clutches his forehead he looks to be in great pain]
    
    Luc: I only need one of the other Five Elemental Runes-Fire, Water, Earth, or
    Lightning-to collect them all.  The True Wind Rune that I bear will upset the
    balance when combined with the True Earth Rune, allowing me to seize your rune.
    I thought I would leave the True Earth Rune to the end, but I suppose I have no
    choice.
    Geddoe: No....
    Queen: Geddoe!!!!!
    Ace: Boss!!!!!!!
    
    [True Lightning is stolen]
    
    Luc: Now the True Lightning Rune is in my hand.  Since you bore the rune for so
    long, its power hasn't left you entirely.  So you will live on for now, but
    eventually you will die.  Perhaps you will see this as a blessing, Geddoe?
    
    [They move to leave, but stop before they are gone]
    
    Luc: I almost forgot.  I'll leave a little present for you outside.  I'd like
    you to extend your stay here a little longer.
    
    [In the area with the Le Buque residents]
    
    Franz: Iku....
    Iku: Thank god, that weird thing is finally gone.
    Franz: Iku, are you all right?  I... I couldn't protect you...
    Iku: That's OK, Franz....
    Joker: Can you save the sentimentality for later?  We have to get out of here!
    Villager: Have we made it?
    Ace: We're not sure!  It depends on what kind of "present" Luc left for us.
    
    [Try to exit]
    
    Joker: You see his farewell present anywhere?
    
    [A bunch of monsters appear]
    
    Ace: Oh, here's his present!
    Jacques: Gaudy and tasteless.  I was hoping for a new scarf.
    Franz: Jacques!  It's the thought that counts... and I guess he was very
    thoughtful.  He left more than enough for everyone.
    Queen: Shall we, then?
    Joker: Uh-huh.  I don't mind dying for a change.
    Ace: Not me, thanks!
    
    [Battle ensues, you win]
    
    Ace: Look!  More of them!  Go ahead, old man.
    Joker: Are you talking to me?
    
    [Another battle]
    
    Queen: Damn!  They might be too much for us to handle.
    Aila: Be careful!  Here they come again!!
    
    [Battle ensues, it doesn't even make a dent in the number really]
    
    Ace: Whoa!  Whew!  The last time we were driven to the edge was at a battle in
    the Outlands.  This one seems a little too similar.
    Joker: You said it.  But it's kind of exciting to face monsters, don't you
    think?
    Ace: What are we going to do, boss?  It's doesn't look like we can wipe them
    out.  I think we'd be better off...
    Aila: Hold on there!  Are you implying we should run away and leave the
    townspeople to fend for themselves?
    Franz: Never!
    Ace: Think of it this way-if we stay here and die, there's no way that they'll
    survive either, Aila.
    Aila: No, that's not fair....
    Queen: In battle, strategy based on pure calculation is often better than
    relying on human emotions.  It may not be nice, but it's the best way, you
    know.
    Jacques: ............
    Geddoe: We can't just run away.
    Ace: Yeah, a Fire Bringer can't abandon the townspeople, I guess.  He'd lose
    face fast.
    
    Aila: Here they come again!!!!
    
    [Another battle, it really is growing a bit tedious here.]
    
    Jacques: This won't do....
    Joker: We will either end up cornered or use up all our energy fighting.
    Either way, our future seems dim to me.
    Geddoe: We can't just run away.
    Ace: It's touch to be a good guy.
    Joker: Exactly!
    Aila: All right, everybody, hang in there!
    
    [More battle, yay!]
    
    Aila: Puff, puff, puff, puff....
    Franz: Damn!
    Ace: Boss!  This might be it!
    Queen: Not here...  damn!
    Geddoe: We can't just run away.
    
    [A monster tries to attack Aila]
    
    Aila: Augh!!!!
    Queen: Aila!!!!
    
    [She is saved by a spear hitting the monster]
    
    Ace: Who was that?
    
    [In the distance you can see Duke's group]
    
    Duke: Long time no see, Geddoe.  You shouldn't keep all the fun for yourselves,
    you know.
    Ace: Duke!!!  How did you find us here?
    Elaine: Our orders were to arrest a priest for treason.  Looks like we missed
    him.  Just seeing you falter was reward enough.
    Queen: Damn!
    Duke: Geddoe, you seem to be in trouble.  We can lend you a hand-if you beg us
    to.
    Geddoe: Please, help us.
    Duke: A-ha!  What a surprise!  I never thought you'd say those words, Geddoe.
    Ace: Enough, Duke!  Are you here to help or harass?
    Duke: Help-but only because your boss asked so politely.
    Geddoe: All right, we'll go free the townspeople while they take care of the
    monsters.
    Franz: Yes, sir!!!
    Duke: Ooops, they're tougher than I thought!
    
    [Duke joins the 108 Stars]
    
    Nicolas: Which spices up the stew!
    Gau: Absolutely!
    
    [Nicolas and Gau join the 108 Stars]
    
    Duke: Here I go!  Watch how I fight!
    Elaine: Heh-heh.  He's pretty keen on this whole thing!
    
    [Elaine joins the 108 Stars]
    
    Ace: Boss, I let the villagers return to the town first.
    Joker: Duke seems to be looking for loot inside.
    Aila: Then let's get in on the action.
    Queen: Sure.
    Iku: Well, thank you very much.  I never dreamt that anyone would come to
    rescue us.
    Franz: ............
    
    [Everyone starts to walk off]
    
    Queen: When you return, Geddoe, they'll treat you like a hero.
    Geddoe: A hero, huh?  Hmmm...
    
    [Head to Le Buque]
    
    Villager: We thank you greatly.  We were waiting for you, Fire Bringer, to
    liberate us some day.  We've been occupied by Harmonia for over 50 years, but
    we've never forgotten about the Grasslands, our home.
    Villager: Yes.  We are eternally grateful to you.
    Villager: We won't be bullied by that Harmonian brat anymore.
    Villager: If he likes Harmonia so much, he shouldn't stay in Le Buque.
    Franz: Oh yeah?  Say that to my face!
    Villager: We need to teach this one where his loyalties should lie.  Harmonia
    lover!
    Villager: No telling what that traitor will do.  We'd better tie him up.
    Iku: Stop it, please.  He is a Le Buque native!  And he helped us.
    Villager: Move over, Iku.  Are you taking the Harmonia's side?
    Iku: Stop talking nonsense.  Franz actually....
    Franz: Stand aside, Iku.  They'll never evolve.  They'll make you pay too if
    you don't back off.
    Iku: Franz, you don't need to be alone in this.  I want to help you this time!
    Villager: Please excuse us.  This is so embarrassing.  We'll have this traitor
    tied up at once!
    
    [Geddoe punches the villager in the face]
    
    Villager: Why not?  He was working for the Harmonians!
    Geddoe: And what were you doing all this time?
    Villager: Well, er....
    Geddoe: You did nothing!  You just watched and waited while someone else did
    all the work.  What have you done for Le Buque and everyone in it?  A coward
    has no right to condemn someone else!
    Villager: ..............
    Geddoe: What do you mean by pride?  How precious is your belief without the
    backbone to accomplish something?
    
    [Geddoe walks off]
    
    Ace: Boss, why did you do that?  You should have stuck with bragging about how
    famous you are.
    Geddoe: You know, it's just not in my nature.  I may be too serious for my own
    good.
    Queen: Geddoe, you are not [Flame Champion].  What's wrong with that?
    Geddoe: Uh huh....
    
    [Franz, Ruby and Iku join the 108 stars]
    
    [Scene switches to Chris at Budehuc]
    
    Lucia: If this is the case, there is nothing we can do.
    Salome: This is the weakness of the Zexen Federation.  We can't continue to
    disregard the Council's intentions.
    Caesar: That's true, but I need you back at Budehuc Castle as soon as possible.
    The knights can't be deployed effectively without a leader.
    Chris: I'm well aware of this.  I'll return after my meeting with the Council
    messenger to wrap up some paperwork.
    Hugo: Why can't the messenger come here?
    Chris: It would make sense, but this is Zexen.  They are a bureaucracy, and
    very stuck in their ways.
    Hugo: Huh.  What a strange country.
    Chris: I fully agree with you.
    Lucia: I will take charge in your absence, Chris.
    Chris: I am counting on you, Lucia.  I've had quite a few trying experiences
    already.
    Lucia: You're not the only one.
    Salome: Very well then, we will be at the Brass Castle; please send a messenger
    if you need anything.  We will send word if we acquire any new information.
    Caesar: I'll be counting on you.
    
    [Outside]
    
    Chris: All right, I'll leave everything to you, Leo and Percival.
    Leo: Our pleasure.
    Percival: I would love the honor of accompanying you, but Lord Borus and Lord
    Salome won't let me.
    Borus: Percival!
    Percival: Ha, ha, ha!
    Cecile: Well then, have a safe journey!  I, the commander of the guards, will
    defend the castle during your absence, milady!!!
    Chris: Yes, I am depending on you, Commander Cecile.
    Cecile: Yes, milady!!!
    
    [Arrive to Brass Castle]
    
    Chris: What is it?  A commotion at the front gate?
    Salome: No idea.  Perhaps the merchants are bickering.
    
    [Go further in]
    
    Zexen Soldier: Listen, Lady Chris isn't here.
    Yumi: Then who could that be?
    
    [Chris and Salome come out]
    
    Zexen Solider: Oh, Lady Chris!  I didn't know you were here.  Forgive me,
    milady.
    Chris: Don't worry.  I just got here.
    Yumi: I'm so happy to see you again!
    Chris: It's been a long time, Yumi.  A lot has happened.
    Yumi: I can imagine.  We weren't allowed to leave the village because my great
    aunt forbade it.  Alma Kinan has been hit hard by destructive forces.  We may
    soon lose our ritual shrine.  Can you help us?
    Salome: I take it something needs protection within the shrine?
    Chris: Yes, the ritual shrine contains the seal of the True Water Rune, as well
    as the spirit of Yun.  We must hurry then.
    Yumi: I beg of you, help us please!
    
    Salome: I will speak with the messenger, but please return as soon as possible.
    Chris: I will.
    Salome: Lord Borus, please look after Lady Chris.
    Borus: Certainly.
    Salome: Please, Lady Chris, choose the rest of your party.
    
    [Choose a party]
    
    Yumi: Now, let's go.
    
    [In Kuput Forest]
    
    Chris: What is it, Yumi?
    Borus: Is something wrong?  I will lend you my horse if you're feeling unwell.
    Yumi: Chris...  Hero of Zexen, White Maiden...  Aren't you tormented by your
    link
    to the Flame Champion?  He is a symbol of many battles.
    Chris: What are you trying to say?
    Yumi: Many people will fight and die in your name.  Are you strong enough to
    bear this responsibility?
    Borus: Stop this nonsense at once!  Are you trying to undermine her confidence?
    Yumi: You have many smoldering emotions within you because of things you have
    done as a knight.  Do you remember when your emotions made you strike down an
    innocent person?
    Borus: That was.... You...!
    Chris: You are that mage, aren't you?
    
    [Yumi become Sarah]
    
    Sarah: Does being a hero bother you?
    Chris: This has nothing to do with you.
    Sarah: Are you honestly prepared to control the enormous power the True Rune
    gives you?
    Chris: You're the one who caused a futile war in the Grasslands!  What do you
    know of control or justice?
    Sarah: We... I mean, Master Luc had a good reason...
    Chris: Master Luc's reasoning may not be as moral as it should be.
    Sarah: Well then, I am sorry to say we will have to settle this in battle.
    
    [A bunch of monsters appear a fight ensues]
    
    Borus: This is your last chance, wicked mage!!
    Sarah: Hm.  You do behave as the successor of the rune, but...  You haven't the
    knowledge to use the True Rune power.  Now is your chance...
    
    [She summons up the ball with True Earth in it]
    
    Borus: Unh!
    Sarah: Now, may I have your True Rune?
    Chris: What?
    Sarah: I will remove your burden.  It should be easier to be a woman than a
    hero.
    Chris: No!!!!!
    
    [True Water is stolen]
    
    Borus: Lady Chris!!!
    Sarah: Now I will excuse myself.
    Chris: Hold... hold it right there...
    Sarah: A charade of justice is no weapon against him.
    
    [Sarah vanishes, and the scene swaps over to Hugo now]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hey, Hugo, how about making a round of the castle with me?  You never
    know when the Harmonian army will come back.
    Hugo: Why not?  I need something to do while Chris and Geddoe are away.
    Sgt. Joe: Even if they were here, you lead the Fire Bringer of the Zexen-
    Grasslands.  You should be ready at any time!
    Hugo: Good point.
    
    [At the entrance]
    
    Cecile: Hello, Hugo, are you on your rounds?
    Hugo: Yep.  I think I'll go check on the neighboring villages, too.
    Cecile: h splendid idea!  The nearest village is Iksay.  Don't take too long.
    The Harmonian army has withdrawn, but you never know when they'll be back.
    Hugo: Got it.
    
    [Go to Iksay and come back]
    
    Cecile: Are you all right?
    Zexen Knight: Yes.  I've got to report, right away.
    Hugo: What's up?
    Cecile: It seems a messenger from the Brass Castle has arrived.
    Sgt. Joe: Notify everybody, now.
    Cecile: Yes, sir!
    
    [They go inside]
    
    Lucia: You are saying that the Harmonian army has made a sudden attack on the
    Brass Castle?!
    Caesar: That's not possible.  How could such a big army reach the Brass Castle
    without being noticed?
    Sgt. Joe: It could be that mage again.
    Apple: No, it can't be.  Illusions can mystify people, but not murder them.
    Thomas: Regardless, they desperately need our help!
    Zexen Knight: Please, I beg you.
    Caesar: All right, we'll send an army right away.  Is that okay with you, Hugo?
    Hugo: Sure, go ahead, Caesar.
    Cecile: How long does it take to get from here t the Brass Castle?
    Apple: It will take about two days to assemble, organize, and advance the army.
    Thomas: Won't that be too late?
    Caesar: I don't think Brass Castle will fall that easily.  In addition to the
    fortifications, it has Chris' leadership and Salome's stratagems.
    Sgt. Joe: What about selecting the toughest warriors and sending them ahead?
    Apple: Brilliant idea!  They'll blaze a trail immediately.
    Sgt. Joe: We're all settled then.  Hugo, we'd better leave right now.
    Hugo: Sure.
    Caesar: Hold it.  We can't let Hugo take such a risk.
    Hugo: Don't worry, Caesar.  I am an experienced fighter.  I can take care of
    myself.
    Caesar: Okay.  Go ahead, then, but be careful!
    Hugo: What you're really saying is that you don't want me to fall prey to them
    and give up the True Rune.
    Caesar: No, you don't understand, Hugo!
    Hugo: ...I know.
    Caesar: Anyway, I'm coming with you.  I want to get there first to get the hang
    of things.
    Hugo: No problem.
    Lucia: My son's turned into a good fighter, don't you think?
    Dupa: You know, I could always adopt him as my son.  That would guarantee his
    best performance at all times!
    Lucia: Ha, ha, ha.
    Apple: I guess a decision has been reached.  Please choose the party members.
    
    [Caesar joins, choose the rest of the party]
    
    Apple: Now, get ready as soon as possible.
    
    [Outside]
    
    Hugo: All right, see you later.
    Caesar: Apple, I'm entrusting everything to your capable hands.
    Apple: You won't regret it.  Once we're ready, we'll follow you to the Brass
    Castle.
    Sgt. Joe: Everything may be over before you get there!
    Apple: That would be great.
    Sgt. Joe: Hooo ho ho ho ho ho!
    
    [Arrive at Brass Castle]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Fighting's in progress, Hugo.
    Hugo: Great.  Let's go, Sergeant.
    
    [Get to the other side and see Roland leading some men against Harmonians]
    
    Roland: Do not retreat!  Push them back!
    Salome: Rescue forces from the Dragon Castle will arrive any minutes.  Now's
    the time to show the strengths of the Zexen Knights!
    Hugo: Salome!!!
    Sgt. Joe: Here we are!
    Salome: Oh, sir!
    Hugo: We set out immediately when we heard the news.  The main force will be
    arriving later.
    Salome: I don't know how to thank you enough!
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, here they come!
    
    [A fight ensues]
    
    Sgt,. Joe: Phew!  What's next?
    Hugo: Sergeant!  Incoming!
    
    [Another battle, another win]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Wow!  They're pretty tough!
    Salome: There's something strange about them.
    Roland: It doesn't seem like they care if they get killed.
    Salome: I noticed.  And slowly but surely, they're pushing us back to the
    castle.
    Hugo: Here they come again!!!
    
    [Another fight]
    
    Hugo: It seems like there is no end!
    Sgt. Joe: What's going on?  They come one after another, and they never
    retreat, either!
    Roland: Lord Salome, we can't retreat any further!!
    Salome: We will have to set up a final defense in the castle.  Pardon me,
    please hold on....  What?!  Who could that be?
    
    [Luc, Yuber and Sarah appear]
    
    Luc: I haven't seen you in a long time.  I hope you took good care of the True
    Rune I entrusted with you.
    Hugo: You!!!
    Sgt. Joe: You, wizard!  What are you up to?
    Luc: I am merely taking over the True Rune.  It's too much of a burden for you
    to bear-both the rune and the title!
    Hugo: What?!  I will never hand it over to you!
    Luc: Don't toy with me.  Not today!
    
    [A ball appears with the True Lightning in it.]
    
    Caesar: That's...
    Luc: This is a vessel to seal the 27 True Runes.  It involves a bewitched
    technique.  Here is a rune I seized from Geddoe.
    Hugo: What?
    Luc: Now I will seize your rune....
    
    [True Fire is stolen away]
    
    Sgt, Joe: Hugo, are you all right?
    Hugo: Ugh!  Yeah.
    Luc: Now that the Five Elemental Runes have been brought together, I'll get my
    wish.
    
    [Luc starts to walk away]
    
    Luc: Yuber, I leave the rest to you.  Follow me after you have finished here.
    Yuber: Agreed.  Do as you wish.  I simply desire a good fight with plenty of
    blood and the screams of the dying.
    Hugo: Damn!  Hold it.
    
    [Luc stops]
    
    Hugo: Why are you doing this?  I don't know the secret power of the True Rune,
    nor how to use it!  Why are you trying to do this?  Why do you want to take the
    lives of so many people?
    Luc: I always answer a good question.  I'm going to destroy the fifth True Rune
    with the other four I've collected.  Simple, eh?
    Hugo: I don't understand!
    Caesar: You want to destroy God.  Is that it, killer Priest?
    Luc: Absolutely.  Bravo!  You guessed right.
    Hugo: But why?!
    Caesar: The 27 True Runes are the source of the power keeping this world in
    balance: the ultimate power that controls this world.  To destroy a rune is to
    clash with fate and destroy God.  The act unleashes the uncontrollable power of
    the rune.  I warn you, it is much worse than the release of the Flame
    Champion's True Fire Rune and the True Water Rune.
    Luc: It has the potential to blow up the Grasslands and the entire continent-
    including Holy Harmonia.
    Hugo: Why would anyone want to do that?
    Luc: Wouldn't any prisoner seek freedom?
    Hugo: We're prisoners?
    Luc: It's been 1000 years since this world was created after the War of the
    Swords and Shields, but people haven't evolved in the meantime.  They have been
    caught in the web of conflicts between the True Runes.  I've witnessed them.
    And I've experienced the other memories held by the True Wind Rune.
    Hugo: So....
    Luc: The world is really a prison controlled by the True Runes.
    Hugo: We are not prisoners!  We live, fight, and die of our own free will.
    Luc: Then your definition of freedom is the ability to walk around a giant cell
    with an invisible leash around your neck.
    Hugo: Don't even think about leaving!  You have to defeat me first!
    Luc: No time for that, I'm afraid.  I'm done preparing for the ritual.  The
    four True Runes are already inside the vessel, waiting.  I just have to enter
    its center.  That will crush the True Wind Rune, and my soul along with it.
    Hugo: Stop right there!
    Luc: I once entrusted my dream to a person with your eyes and your heart.  A
    very long time ago.  Farewell, Hugo.
    
    [Luc vanishes leaving the Harmonians and Yuber]
    
    Yuber: Now then, I'll take care of the rest.
    Salome: If they advance with such numbers, what... what can we do?
    
    [On the other side of their forces]
    
    Chris: You, the wizard who stole the True Runes!  I'll prove that the power of
    the runes is not real, nor is it meant for humans!
    Yuiri In response to the prayers of the people who desire peace on this plain,
    we fighters of Alma Kinan are prepared to die for the cause.  This is also the
    wish of our sister in the spiritual world.
    Yumi: Be prepared.  Don't be fooled by their spell of illusions.  Listen
    closely to the voices of the spirits.
    Yuiri: Shoot!
    
    [Back to the other side]
    
    Yuber" There are enemies behind us?!  We can't let them attack us from both
    sides of the bridge... Sarah!
    Sarah: Unh... I have already used up too much energy.  I can't...
    Sgt. Joe: What's happening?!
    
    [The Harmonian soldiers become monsters]
    
    Salome: What they...?
    Caesar: Another illusion.  We were fighting demonic phantoms created by that
    mage, again.
    Yuber: Damn it, you!
    Sarah: ...Yuber... I can't go on any longer.  I can't control the beasts,
    either.
    My power...
    Yuber: Damn!  We almost made it!
    
    [Yuber and Sarah vanish, as do the monsters]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Oh my!!!!  This is too much!
    
    [Inside Brass Castle]
    
    Yuiri: So you are Hugo, who succeeded the Flame Champion.  I'm Yuiri, a fighter
    of Alma Kinan.  Nice to meet you.
    Hugo: Same to you.
    Yuiri: As stated by our agreement with the prior Flame Champion, we will assist
    you.
    Hugo: That is very kind of you.  But why are you with Chris?
    Chris: I too was tricked and ambushed by the magic illusion.  On my way to Alma
    Kinan, they stole my True Rune.  Luckily, I met a fighter from Alma Kinan and
    heard that the Brass Castle had been attacked.  I immediately got Alma Kinan's
    cooperation and returned.
    Sgt. Joe: By the way, what was that monster?
    Yuiri: I suspect it was a very powerful recall spell.  They have been
    controlling objects in this world for ages, so it must have utilized a special
    technique.
    Salome: It seems they put a blinding spell on the summoned beasts.
    Caesar: We have a larger force now, which will soon be combined with another
    unit from Budehuc castle.  We should launch an offensive right away to track
    down that mage!
    Chris: In any case, I can't have those beasts crawling around the Brass Castle.
    Caesar: Do we have your permission, Hugo?
    Hugo: Yes.
    Salome: Well then, let's get ready for combat immediately.  You must be
    exhausted, milady...
    Chris: I'm fine.
    
    [Commence battle]
    
    Caesar: Reinforcements will be here soon from Budehuc.  Then the fun will
    start.
    Chris: For the glory of the Zexen Knights!  For the glory of the Fire Bringer!
    Yuber: The scum has floated to the surface again.
    
    [More units arrive]
    
    Apple: Caesar: is everything all right?
    Caesar: You sure took your sweet time!
    Apple: Sorry.  We got held up.
    
    [Another turn passes]
    
    Yuber: Without Luc, we can't summon any more...
    
    [Geddoe arrives]
    
    Ace: We've suffered too.  And now it's time for revenge.
    Geddoe: I want their leader.
    Queen: As you wish.
    
    [A few rounds pass]
    
    Apple: Look!
    Thomas: Look at what?
    Apple: Harmonian soldiers!
    
    [Sasarai's unit shows up]
    
    Caesar: Black magic again!
    Yuiri: Wait.  That's not how it feels to me...
    Sgt. Joe: However you feel, they still look ready to attack!
    
    [A few more rounds pass, Yuber is being a shit and not taking damage]
    
    Sasarai: I am Sasarai of the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia.  For my own reasons, I
    have decided to assist the Fire Bringers.
    Dios: Indeed.  We were rushed, so our force is rather small, but perhaps we
    will be effective nonetheless.
    Salome: What exactly are you doing?
    Sasarai: I will explain more afterward.  For now, I can say that Luc has
    betrayed Harmonia and Hikusaak, its leader.
    Cecile: So you're not going to attack us, right?
    Sasarai: You have my word.
    
    [Finally defeat Yuber's unit]
    
    Yuber: Stinking rats!  But now, with the True Runes all accounted for...
    Hugo: We did it!
    Chris: It looks that way for now.
    Ace: Glad we made it in time.  That was a dangerous drama, and we almost missed
    our cue.
    Joker: You are really annoying to listen to all day.
    Apple: I suppose our forces should get back to Budehuc, right Hugo?
    Hugo: Right.
    Caesar: Let's all go back!  Sasarai, you too.  You have a story I'm dying to
    hear.
    Sasarai: Of course.  That is why I'm here.
    
    [battle is now over]
    
    Cecile: Hello, Hugo.  Are you ready?  Oh good, you are.  You finally brushed
    off the dirt from the battle, I notice.  I managed to catch a few winks too.
    We have to go to the hall.  Everyone is waiting for you.
    Hugo: Really?  Okay, I'll be right there.
    Cecile: Yes, sir.
    
    [Head to the hall]
    
    Apple: Since Hugo is here now, shall we get down to business?
    Dios: Thank you.  On behalf of His Holiness Bishop Sasarai of Holy Harmonia, I
    would like to explain the present circumstances.
    Sasarai: Don't bother, Dios.  I'll do it myself.
    Dios: Yes, of course!  Certainly.
    Sasarai: Luc initiated this war.  He used to be one of the bishops of Holy
    Harmonia.  He bears within him the True Wind Rune.  He wanted to possess all of
    the Five Elemental Runes: Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, and Lightning.  He's
    managed to do just that.
    Caesar: Now, he wants to destroy the True Rune.  We haven't figured out his
    ultimate goal yet.  If he actually destroyed a rune, it would be devastating,
    perhaps even more so than the True Water Rune that went out of control.
    Dupa: What could happen?
    Sasarai: At the temple, we hypothesized that it could wipe out the entire
    Grasslands...!
    Lucia: The Grassland...wiped out....
    Sasarai: Speculations are all we have.  When the last Flame Champion released
    the power of the rune, the entire regular army of Holy Harmonia and many of
    Grasslands' forces perished by fire.  This was only part of the True Fire Rune.
    If the True Rune was destroyed, imagine what kind of energy would be released!
    Sgt. Joe: This castle's fortifications wouldn't stand a chance.
    Apple: That's right.  But Luc has lost the backing of the Holy Harmonian army.
    Now he invokes the beasts instead.  Even that can't go on forever.  If we only
    knew where he intends to carry out the True Rune's destruction....
    Salome: It won't be easy with so many possible ruins around.  Who knows how
    close it is to the Grasslands?
    Nash: Ask me about the location.
    
    [The door opens and we see Nash]
    
    Caesar: Who are you?
    Nash: I'm Nash Clovis.  I've become acquainted with Bishop Sasarai, Lady Chris,
    and Lord Salome.  Never mind that.  I've brought information about Luc's
    whereabouts.  You should greet me with applause!
    Apple: Well, where is he?
    Nash: There is a ruin of the Cyndar Clan, north of the Great Hollow.  The ruin
    is deserted, but it was once used for large-scale rituals.  Luc and his
    accomplices are stationed there, preparing for a ceremony to destroy a True
    Rune.
    Hugo: We must head for the site right away....
    Caesar: Not even I could obtain this information!  How could you?  We can't
    waste time dealing with unreliable sources.
    Nash: Even with Bishop Sasarai's endorsement?
    Caesar: An endorsement doesn't guarantee that your information is correct.
    Nash: Well then, how about if I said this information was passed on to me by a
    man you know well, Caesar?
    Caesar: A man I know well?  ......  Damn!
    Nash: So you believe me now?
    Caesar: All right.  Hugo, his information seems reliable.  We should dispatch
    our army right away.
    Lucia: He seems like a reliable source.
    Caesar: I will guarantee his credibility, myself.
    Lucia: We're in this together.  You'll use your head we'll use our swords.
    Caesar: So be it.  Hugo, please make your decision.
    Hugo: Sure, let's depart at once.
    Apple: Good.  I'll start the preparations at once.
    Dupa: We'll stop those monsters, once and for all!
    Lucia: Take it easy, Dupa.
    Dupa: How can I?
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hey, Hugo, are you ready to go?
    Hugo: Uh huh.
    Lucia: My, my!  It's so strange for Karayan fighters and Zexen ironheads to
    fight side by side.
    Sgt. Joe: What's wrong with that, Chief Lucia?
    Lucia: Nothing.  I know the ironheads are a committed people.  I am quite
    pleased to be here.  What makes me even more thrilled is that my son is the
    commander of the group.
    Hugo: Oh, it just happened in the course of things.  I'm not sure I'm right for
    the task.
    Sgt. Joe: All you need to do is act confidently and maintain a good image.  So
    far so good, right, Chief Lucia?
    Lucia: So true!  I'm very proud of my son.
    Hugo: Mother!  Sshhh!
    Lucia: Heh heh!  Don't be embarrassed.
    
    Caesar: Now we'll head for the ruins where an evil ritual is about to take
    place.  If it's successful, untold harm will come to the Grasslands and the
    Zexen Federation.  Expect foul beasts waiting for us.  We can crush them.  The
    only way to save this land is by winning this war!
    Lucia: We fight for all people who share in this land...and for the spirits that
    reside within!
    Salome: I pray that the Knights and the bravest fighters of the Grasslands will
    lead us to victory.
    Dupa: With so many swords from so many brave soldiers, we'll be invincible!
    Hugo: I pray for this war to end all the sorrows of the past.  Let us all be
    protected.  Move out!  Today we fight as one to protect our land!
    Everyone: [cheering]
    
    Dupa: The ruins lie just beyond.
    Caesar: They should, yes.
    Apple: Wouldn't it be great if the enemy appeared any minute now?
    
    Yuber: How nice of them to come rather than run away.  At last I'll have my
    fill of blood.
    Luc: With craft and covenant, we summon our allies through the gates of a
    million worlds.
    Hallec: Waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    
    Yuber: If you rush like that, there's nothing for me to enjoy!
    Sarah: I'll take care of it.
    Luc: Sarah, don't over do it.
    
    Sarah: This is... all I can do.  Yuber, finish for me...
    Yuber: Only pitiful humans are troubled by this level of sorcery.
    
    Yuber: I...I...!  Maggots!!!
    Hugo: Down with him!
    Caesar: Good-now get inside fast.
    Apple: There might be some baddies still hanging about.  Everyone outside needs
    to stay sharp.  If we lose control, the group inside will be cut off.
    Joker: An exciting finale!
    Aila: Hmm?  What is this?
    Jacques: What is it, Aila?
    Aila: I found this.
    Ace: Someone from the other side must have left it for us.  How sweet of them.
    
    [You take Wind Hat]
    
    Chris: We barely made it.
    Apple: The fight is still going on outside.  Our men should be able to handle
    it.  But it's up to us to stop the ritual inside.  The destruction of the rune
    must be stopped!
    Geddoe: How are we going to do it?
    Sasarai: Harmonian scouts have already surveyed inside.  There is a big podium
    in the middle with platforms on four corners.  This is very typical for Cyndar.
    This structure focuses energy at its center.  The four runes: fire, water,
    lightning and earth, are probably placed on the four platforms...with Luc's True
    Wind Rune placed on the podium.
    Sgt. Joe: We should go straight for the center.
    Sasarai: We can't!  With the four runes in place, there will be a force field
    energized around the center which no human can penetrate.  We have to get the
    four runes off their platforms, and then make our way to the center.
    Caesar: Time is running out.  If Luc manages to destroy the rune, everything
    for miles around will perish!
    Sasarai: You can't even imagine the force that will be released.  A single run
    has incredible power.  Can you fathom what five together could do?
    Hugo: We need to get going!  Let's get to the closest platform!
    Caesar: That won't do it!  Taking just one rune won't be enough to foil the
    ritual's outcome.
    Sasarai: As you say, the site is already saturated with all the runes' power!
    Chris: We must split up into fourths.  Each has to go for a run.  It will be
    touch, but we have to succeed, then we get to the center.
    Salome: It is our only hope, milady!
    Chris: Indeed!  But just remember the times we succeeded against all odds in
    the past.
    Queen: You have been very lucky.
    Apple: All right, let's divide ourselves into four groups and advance to the
    platforms.  Hugo, Chris and Geddoe will each lead a group to retrieve their own
    runes, and the last group...
    Sasarai: Will have to be me, obviously.
    Thomas: Let me go with you!
    Sgt. Joe: Are you serious?
    Thomas: Yes, s-sir!  If we lose here, we will lose Dragon Castle and much, much
    more.  I must try my best!
    Cecile: I am coming with you, Master Thomas.  Together, we may stand a chance.
    Let's hurry!
    Caesar: Now!  Geddoe, go ahead to the platform.  And watch out for enemies!
    Geddoe: All right.
    Queen: Let's do it!
    Apple: Choose your party, Geddoe.
    
    Ace: Shall we get started?
    Joker: I suspect our pathway will be cluttered with frightening creatures..."
    Queen: Bet you can't wait to meet them, can you?
    Joker: Oy...
    Geddoe: You shouldn't have been involved in this.  It's... all because of what
    happened 50 years ago...
    Ace: Hush, boss!  I'd go to hell and back for you!
    Joker: Yeah, sure.  Whatever, Ace.  Easier said than done!
    Ace: You're such a smartass, Joke.  But you'll be sorry when I'm dead.
    Aila: Let's not talk about dying, okay?
    Jacques: We've got to live...
    Ace: Sure...
    Jacques: We have to live.
    Ace: Yes, you're right.
    Queen: Are we ready?  First let's crash through this hellish hallway and grab
    the True Lightning Rune.  Then we'll nab that crazy mage, drag him back to
    Caleria, and drink many toasts to our victory.  Agreed?
    Joker: I'll drink to that!
    Aila: That's right!  We'll all come back and celebrate together.  We must come
    back!
    Ace: Right.  Let's just get this over with, shall we?
    Geddoe: Yes, let's.
    
    Yuber: You're late!
    Geddoe: I guess I am.
    Yuber: How can you keep so cool?  The world is about to end.
    Geddoe: I'll believe it when I see it.  I was there 50 years ago, when the
    threat was the same.  You get stronger with time.
    Yuber: A reward for escaping death, I suppose.
    Geddoe: It's more like a curse.  Knowledge can be a tedious things.
    Yuber: Then I will put an end to your misery.  You, the successor to the 27
    True Runes, will be granted your eternal slumber.  Don't you feel honored?
    Geddoe: I feel tired.
    
    Yuber: Ugh, will I never be free from my pain?  Damn it, True Rune!
    Geddoe: Be gone, Devil!  This world is a place meant for humans!
    
    Chris: Has Geddoe's team begun yet?
    Lucia: They'll go as soon as they are ready.
    Chris: Good!  I'll leave for the Water Rune platform soon.
    Dupa: All the best to you.  You'll be just fine.
    Chris: You have such trust in me.
    Dupa: You are a real right, and I never doubt a real fighter.
    Chris: Will you still respect me after this battle ends if we become enemies
    once more?
    Dupa: Sure.
    Lucia: I'm not sure how it is in Zexen, but in Grassland, we help even our
    rivals when we must.
    Chris: In Zexen, we have a saying: "Trust must be earned."  But it's sad not
    being able to trust others.  For the time being, we'll trust you.
    Lucia: Listen to me.  As the Chief of the Karaya Clan, let me tell you--  It
    doesn't matter whether you are our friend or our foe,  I respect you.  You can
    believe this.  And as a woman of experience, let me tell you-I know it's not
    always easy to be liked if you're a strong woman.  If you want to have children
    of your own one day, you must show weakness sometimes as well as strength.
    Chris: Excuse me?
    Lucia: Know that we're counting on you, White Maiden of Zexen.
    Chris: Uh... okay.
    Salome: What's the matter, milady?  Is it something she said?
    Chris: Could everyone please shut up!
    
    Sorry, Salome, it's nothing.  Now then.  I'll get to the squad lineup.
    Salome: Yes, milady.
    
    Salome: Well, then, milady....
    Chris: Uh-huh....
    
    Percival: Shall we, Lady Chris?  Allow me to lead the way.  We'll go to the
    platform as though we were walking home.  You'll see.
    Borus: Oh no, let me do the job.
    Percival: Well, hello, Lord Borus.  I thought you decided to stay quiet after
    that incident in Karaya.
    Borus: Ugh....
    Roland: Percival!!
    Borus: Stand down, Roland.  It's my fault for not being able to stop it.  But
    now I at least take responsibility.  Lady Chris, if you feel that I have
    disgraced the name of the Six Might Knights of Zexen, please expel me from the
    Knights after this battle.  But for now, please let me stay by you....
    Chris: Borus, I don't know as much about the Six Mighty Knights as you do.  You
    honor me by fighting by my side.  If you have any shortcomings as a knight, I
    should be blamed.  My sword has taken many lives.  I have spilled the blood of
    too many men.  Nevertheless, we are knights.  Because we know what it is to
    take a life in battle, we know the value of human lives even more.  We must use
    our swords to protect others' lives, not just take them.  Look at me, Borus.
    Join me in the fight.
    Borus: Lady Chris.  I, Borus Redrum of the Zexen Knights, hereby take an oath
    to dedicate myself to the commander of the Knights, Lady Chris Lightfellow, and
    fight by her side in battles as her sword and shield.
    Percival: That was nice.  Can I do it too?  I, Percival Fraulein of the Zexen
    Knights, hereby take an oath to dedicate myself to the commander of the
    Knights, Lady Chris Lightfellow, and fight by her side in battles as her sword
    and shield.
    Leo: I, Leo Gallen of the Zexen Knights, hereby take an oath to dedicate myself
    to the commander of the Knights, Lady Chris Lightfellow, and fight by her side
    in battles as her sword and shield.
    Roland: How about you, Lord Salome?
    Salome: I already made my oath a long time ago.
    Roland: I see.  As for myself, I don't fight with a sword.  I Roland Lesarus of
    the Zexen Knights, hereby take an oath in the names of the Zexen Federation, my
    tribe, and my long ears to work for the commander of the Knights, Lady Chris
    Lightfellow.
    Louis: That's cool.  I want to take an oath too when I become a knight one day.
    Salome: I think you can at a time like this.
    Louis: Really?  I, Louis Keeferson, apprentice of the Zexen Knights, hereby
    take an oath in the names of the Zexen Federation, my tribe, and my long ears
    to work for the commander of the Knights, Lady Chris Lightfellow.
    Borus: Louis!
    Louis: Ha ha ha!
    Chris: Borus, stop fooling around.
    Salome: Well, we should be going.  We don't have much time.
    Chris: Let's go!  We will fight and protect many in the name of the Zexen
    Knights.  We'll all come back alive, too!
    Salome: So may it be, milady!
    
    Sarah: Am I correct in saying that you refuse at any cost to stop interfering
    with Master Luc?
    Chris: Positively.  You should be well aware of what will happen if the True
    Wind Rune is released and spirals out of control.  It's unfathomable how many
    people will be destroyed by this!
    Sarah: Certainly I am aware.  But it is necessary.  Besides, it isn't as if the
    sword by your side is innocent of taking lives, as well...
    Chris: What?!  I use my sword to protect people, not to destroy them!!
    Sarah: Master Luc wishes to give the people dignity.  This is the most valuable
    thing in the world.
    Chris: More valuable than life?
    Sarah: Let me ask you this: Which is more important, your duty or your life?
    Chris: This is ridiculous!  Your life is far less valuable than the countless
    lives you plan on sacrificing.  I will feel no remorse by taking it!
    Sarah: Chris, it is unfortunate that you and I will never see eye to eye...
    
    Chris: This is as it should be.
    Sarah: Please forgive me, Master Luc.  I am not strong enough.
    Chris: Get out of the way.
    Sarah: No, I won't!!  I'll give my life to keep it here!
    Chris: You mustn't be so willing to die!
    
    Dios: We must be lucky today.  No one seems to be guarding the rune.
    Sasarai: So it seems.
    Thomas: Are you sure no one's here?
    Dios: Do you doubt me?
    Cecile: Look!  Someone IS there!
    Dios: You're just trying to scare me.  It's not funny, you know.
    Sasarai: Dios!
    Dios: What?!
    
    Caesar: Well then, we should be starting out too, Hugo.
    Hugo: We?
    Caesar: Yep, I am coming too.  You never know what you'll encounter.  And....
    Hugo: And?
    Caesar: Oh, just get on with choosing your party members.
    Hugo: Uh-huh.
    
    Caesar: All right, we're set to go.  I'm leaving you in charge, Apple.
    Apple: Sure.  I know you won't listen, but please don't overdo things.
    Caesar: I'm hoping to deal with some unresolved issues from the past.
    Apple: Hugo, please be careful.  You are the one who holds the key to this war.
    Hugo: Of course, I know....  I really do.
    
    Fubar: Kuuueee!
    Futch: I hope the people heading for the other platforms are okay.
    Sgt. Joe: We can't fail!  It's out last chance!
    Hugo: It's time I put an end to this, once and for all!
    
    Hugo: The True Fire Rune....  But why is it so quiet?
    Caesar: This is peculiar.  Why aren't there any traps or guards?
    Albert: You can thank me for that.
    Caesar: Albert!!!
    Albert: Calm down, Caesar.  A good strategist needs a cool head.  Now, you'd
    better hurry.  Even if you retrieve the True Runes, the power of the ones
    already collected at this site is strong enough to carry out the ritual.
    Hugo: Huh?  I thought you were an enemy.
    Albert: This whole thing is getting too melodramatic for my taste, so I'm
    thinking of retiring from the stage.
    Hugo: Weren't you going to collect all the Five Elemental Runes and destroy the
    True Rune?
    Albert: That was his intention, not mine.  I've reached my objective.  I will
    get a position of status in Holy Harmonia now.
    Caesar: You did all this for that?
    Albert: Yes.  I intended to lend him a hand when he was a bishop, but he
    relinquished the title of his own free will.  It was a minor setback, but I
    still had time.  While you were recruiting unsophisticated knights and
    barbarians, I gained a strong backing from Holy Harmonia.  That serves my
    purpose for now.
    Caesar: Damn!!!
    Albert: Well, then, I shall make my exist.  When the four runes are released,
    the force field will be destroyed.  From then on, it's all up to you.
    Caesar: You shouldn't leave everything to chance!  If you are trying to impress
    the Harmonians, leaving the runes to be destroyed is still a bad idea, because
    we can't guarantee you our victory.
    Albert: I know I, as a military strategist deceiving my master, have lost any
    pretense of trustworthiness that I might ever have had.  Even so, I can't kill
    him.  I feel a strange sort of sympathy towards him and his crazy mission.  Do
    me a favor-try to salvage his soul, if you can.
    Hugo: Salvage his soul?  What's that supposed to mean?
    Caesar: At last!  We've got the True Fire Rune!  Now....
    Chris: We've for the rune too!
    Hugo: So, Bishop Sasarai is the last...
    Fubar: Kuuuueeeee!
    
    Hugo: Where are we?
    Caesar: It seems like our destination.
    Geddoe: This is where we want to be.  The site of our last battle.
    Chris: This has to be our last battle!
    Caesar: Hugo, please choose your party members for the final battle.
    
    Hugo: All right.  Let's go find out what's waiting for us.
    
    Hugo: Finally.  Here at last!  You're all by yourself now.  All your allies
    have deserted you.  So give up trying to destroy the True Wind Rune.  It's a
    crazy idea!  Why don't you surrender?
    Luc: I've always been alone, ever since I was born.  You'll be the same way,
    Flame Champion, Hugo, you will eventually learn that omnipotence and fame will
    not necessarily mean happiness.
    Hugo: Why do you say that?  I have....
    Luc: The True Fire Rune, like all runes, stores memories of past bearers.  Di
    they lead happy lives?  Learn from their memories.  Learn the truth about the
    world and learn about what I'm trying to do.
    Hugo: Where am I?
    Hugo: !!!!!!!!!
    Hugo: What...was...that?
    Hugo: It's strange.  I remember this....  No, it can't be!  Is this the Village
    of Karaya?  Not again!!!
    
    Hugo: Can this really be Karaya?  I don't smell the soil, see the grass or feel
    the wind on my face.
    Luc: This is our future...at least one of them.
    Hugo: Future?
    Luc: Do you hear how quiet it is?  Every sound, form, and color blend into
    complete tranquility.  This is the absolute world.
    Hugo: How can this be the absolute world?
    Luc: In this parallel world, battles are fought between dharma and chaos.  This
    balance of power brings justice.
    Hugo: Who are dharma and chaos?  Anyone we know?  Heh, heh!
    Luc: The 27 True Runes were an incarnation of God in this world.  This world
    was born after the war of the sword and the shield.  So began the eternal
    struggle between dharma and chaos.  What you see here is one of its termini.
    This is a world of silence universally reigned by the power of dharma, the
    orderly cosmos.
    Hugo: So what do I have to do with all this nonsense?
    Luc: It's hardly nonsense, Hugo.  This is where the world will eventually end
    up.  This quiet, sad world is our fate.  We can't change our destiny.
    Hugo: This is ridiculous!  Not even a spirit would live in a place like this!
    The only absolute characteristic here is dead silence.
    Luc: This is our fate-our future!
    Hugo: Fate?  I don't believe it!!  The Flame Champion, Flame Champion, told me
    that the will of a person can change destiny!!
    Luc: That's what I wanted to hear, Hugo.
    Hugo: What?
    Luc: I bear the True Wind Rune.  It's taught me about the future world.
    Hugo: ..................
    Luc: The world you just saw was kept as a memory of the True Wind Rune.  The
    Flame Champion, Flame Champion, might have been able to see it vaguely.  It was
    the future of this world.
    Hugo: What are you trying to say here?
    Luc: I'll destroy this True Wind Rune and myself.  Just like the Flame Champion
    said, I can change our destiny!  Since the True Rune causes this eternal
    struggle, perhaps I can change our fate by destroying the rune.  This is not
    the future you deserve.  No!!!  Before I acquired the power, I was helpless.
    Now, I am different.  I have the knowledge!  With the ultimate knowledge from
    the Cyndar Clan, I can change the world's destiny.  I'll release humans from
    bondage!
    Hugo: ...................
    Luc: Now, if you understand me, return your rune to the pedestal.  I'll use
    human willpower to change the future!
    Hugo: Don't talk nonsense.
    Luc ?
    Hugo: You lie!  They're all lies!  Even if not, why should I believe you?
    You've caused a lot of good people to die: Lulu, Jimba, Karayans, Duck Clan,
    Lizard Clan, the Zexen ironheads, and the Harmonians.  They're dead because of
    you!  They had the will to live, but you killed them.  I can never forgive you!
    Luc: Then we have no choice but to fight it out!  We're both too stubborn!
    
    Fubar: Kueeee!
    Geddoe: What in the world...
    Hugo: I'm fine.
    Sgt. Joe: It might be wise to withdraw and recuperate.  We can't beat them like
    this.
    Hugo: No, it's okay!
    Luc: So you don't understand me at all.
    Hugo: I'll repeat it as long as it takes for you to understand.  I won't
    forgive you!
    Luc: Then stop me!  Block the power of the True Rune.
    Hugo: What's this?
    Luc: This temple is already filled with the power of the Five Elemental Runes.
    It's powerful enough now to merge with my soul... and cast its curse on the
    outside world.
    
    Hugo: It's over.
    Luc: Yes.  After all, I too am bound by destiny.
    Hugo: Destiny?  Who are you kidding?  I won't let you leave like this.  Too
    much blood and too many tears have fallen.
    Fubar: Kueeeeee!
    Geddoe: Come on, Hugo, run!
    Hugo: Not yet!  We have to get him!
    Sgt. Joe: We can't stay any longer!  Let's go!
    
    Fubar: Kueeee!
    Hugo: That's right, so let's go.  We're all going home.
    
    Cecile: Master Thomas!  Hurry!  It's going to collapse!
    Thomas: Whew!  Oh my!  I must be out of shape!  You go ahead without me,
    Cecile!
    Cecile: You can't be serious!  Hurry up!  You are the master of the Dragon
    Castle, aren't you?  You can't give up!
    Thomas: I suppose not....
    Cecile: Well, then, get moving!  I won't leave you behind!
    Thomas: Puff, puff, puff.
    
    Fred: Damn!  I don't think this place will hold together much longer.  Let's
    get going, Rico.
    Rico: Yes, master!
    Fred: What are you doing, Rico?  Come on!
    Rico: Sorry, master.
    Rico: Oh, no!  Oh, no!
    Fred: What now, Rico?  Hurry!
    Rico: Oh, no, it's gone.  The badge, it's gone!
    Fred: The badge?
    Rico: Ah, there it is!
    Fred: What are you doing?  Leave it be!
    Rico: No, I won't.  It proves that I'm the apprentice of Master Fred of the
    Maximillian Knights.
    Fred: I'll give you another one later.  Let's move!
    Rico: I want this one!  It's a memento of the first time I met you!
    Fred: Rico, don't do this to me!  Okay, fine, you win!  You wait here.  I'll go
    get it for you.
    Rico: Yes, master!
    
    Dios: Bishop, we're nearly at the exit.
    Sasarai: Thank you, Dios.  I apologize for the trouble.
    Dios: It's not a problem, Bishop.  This is my job.
    Sasarai: But, Dios, since we didn't get permission from the temple to be here,
    you won't be rewarded for your service.
    Dios: I realize that, Bishop.
    Sasarai: Dios, are you a little off, or something?  Maybe you just like working
    hard.
    Dios: You are my only connection to a promotion, Bishop, however weak that
    possibility may be.  With a personality like mine, I am not well liked by my
    seniors.  I'll have no change anywhere else.
    Sasarai: Hmm, that's commendably devious, Dios.
    Dios: Besides, Bishop, you look a little like my son.
    Sasarai: Ummm...  Dios, I am older than you.
    Dios: Ah, I almost forgot.
    Sasarai: Heh heh heh.
    Dios: Well, we're almost there, so let's hurry.
    
    Zexen Infantry: Ms. Apple, it's getting dangerous here, so please evacuate.
    We'll take care of the rest.
    Apple: I appreciate your concern, but I'll keep to my word and wait here.
    Zexen Infantry: But they might not make it back.
    Apple: You're young an inexperienced.  Don't worry.  They'll be back.
    Zexen Infantry: How do you know, miss?
    Apple: I'm old enough to know when people are honorable.
    
    Hugo: Damn!  Are they ever going to stop coming?
    Sgt. Joe: There are too many of them.  Fubar, can you do something about this?
    Fubar: Kuuuuueeeeeeeeee!
    Hugo: Fubar can't life us all out of here.  No way!
    Sgt. Joe: It's not that far to the exit, so let's not give up.  I promise Chief
    Lucia I'd look after you.  And...
    Hugo: And what?
    Sgt. Joe: I miss Chief Lucia's home-cooked food already.  I'm getting hungry
    just thinking about it!
    Hugo: Ha ha ha ha!  Now I'm hungry, too!  Let's get back home and eat until we
    explode!
    Fubar: Kuuuuueeeeeeeeee!!!
    Sgt. Joe: Damn!  Not again.
    Hugo: Sergeant, let's go!!
    
    Beecham: Hey, Hugo!  Have you finished packing?
    Hugo: Yes.  I didn't have much to pack, anyway.
    Beecham: I know it's only been a few months, but I've got wanderlust already.
    Lucia: Beecham, you don't sound very enthusiastic about going back and
    rebuilding the village.  It's still too early to retire, you know.
    Beecham: Heh heh heh!  I see your point.
    Chris: Chief Lucia, can I have a minute with you?
    Lucia: Of course.  We have time.
    Aila: That's funny.  No it can't be...
    Sgt. Joe: Hey, Hugo!  Oops, I mean, Flame Champion Hugo!  You saved the
    Grasslands.  Maybe someone will write an epic poem about you!
    Hugo: The Flame Champion...  I wanted to be a hero so that I could protect
    people.  I've learned that this can be done by anyone.  When the True Fire Rune
    showed me the memories of my predecessor, Flame Champion, I thought I wasn't
    fit to be the Champion.
    Sgt. Joe: Sure.  It takes a lot for a person to maintain the memories of
    someone else's life.  You're too you for such a thing.
    Hugo: Uh huh.
    Chris: Is it uncomfortable to be labeled a hero, Hugo?
    Hugo: Yeah!  So I've learned.  I've had enough attention for now.
    Chris: I suppose so.
    Hugo: Problem is, I still hold a grudge against you, even though I know it's
    not the way a hero should act.
    Chris: I understand.  It's normal for a young boy to hold a grudge.  Even
    though you're a hero, you're still a boy.  As Lucia noted, we never know when
    our paths will cross again.  Maybe it'll be in a town or a battlefield.  I
    extend my best wishes and good luck to you in all your endeavors.  This is the
    Zexen way of saying farewell.  Please do not take offense.
    Hugo: On occasion.
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, we are leaving!
    Hugo: Yep, I'm coming.  Chris, can you lean forward a little for me?
    Chris: ?
    Hugo: I ask the spirits to be with my rival...and comrade.  Keep her well until
    we meet again.  This is a Grassland-style farewell.  All right.  See you,
    Chris.
    Sgt. Joe: Done talking?
    Hugo: Yep!  All through.
    Lucia: OK, let's go!  First, we'll reconstruct our village.  Then, Hugo, you'll
    need a lot of training to become my successor.
    Hugo: Ugh!  I hope you haven't decided to make me chief just yet.
    Lucia: You are the Flame Champion.  Who else can become the next chief, Hugo?
    Sgt. Joe: Heh heh heh!  Don't ask.  Just listen to your mother!  Good luck with
    the training.
    Hugo: Damn!
    Sgt. Joe: Ho, ho, ho, ho!  Ha ha!
    Fubar: Kuuee!
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Luc - Chapter 1 [ChLuc1]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    Leknaat: So you are leaving...?
    Luc: The time I've been waiting for has come.
    Leknaat: What if I stop you?
    Luc: You can't.  Not with your imperfect Gate Rune.
    Leknaat: ............
    Luc: I have hatred towards the entire world, and you are no exception.
    Leknaat: Is this truly what you want?
    Luc: ..............
    
    Yuber: Shall we begin?
    Luc: Er... Yeah...
    Yuber: What is it?  I hope you're not hesitating.  If you quit after coming
    this far....
    Sarah: What are you trying to say?
    Yuber: What do you think?
    Sarah: I think I'd be happy to take you on.
    Albert: We don't have time to get into arguments.  Our operation requires
    minute-by-minute precision and swiftness.
    Luc: Don't mind me, Yuber.  I was just thinking about something.  My decision
    stands.  I will collect all Five Elemental Runes and destroy this hideous True
    Wind Rune.  This is the only way I can escape my fate, which is bound by the
    rune.
    Sarah: Master Luc, I will follow your path.
    Yuber: As long as I get to see the chaos you'll cause, I am happy to help you.
    Albert: Well then, shall we get started?  This will be the spark that ignites
    the flame of war.
    
    Albert: Let's go over our plan.  Up ahead is the room of Chief Zepon of the
    Lizard Clan.  Yuber, you'll do your part as arranged.  We'll create a force
    field on the way as a trap.
    Yuber: Sounds good.  Depend on me!
    
    Yuber: Further ahead, I suppose.
    Albert: Yes.  Master Luc, let's erect the force field here.  We'll set a trap
    at the other exit.
    Sarah: This should do it.
    Yuber: Deceptive magic, isn't it?  Now, all I have to do is go back to the
    first pathway.
    Sarah: Yes.  Your pursuers will chase an illusion from here.
    Yuber: All right, see you later.  I have an old grudge to settle with Zepon, so
    this should be great!
    
    Albert: Very well.  We'll go over to the other side now.
    Luc: Excellent!
    
    Sarah: I didn't have time to make the force field illusion totally perfect, but
    it should convince them they're fighting knights for quite some time.
    Albert: We don't want to kill them.  What we want are witnesses.
    Luc: True.  Will this magic look like a real swordfight to them?
    Sarah: Yes, but the wounds show, so please use only the wind spells and not the
    fire or the lightning.
    Albert: All right.  I'll go on ahead to scout and twist the details.  I'll
    leave the combat matters to you.
    Luc: Fine.
    Sarah: Are you sure about this, Luc?
    Luc: I already said I've made up my mind, didn't I?
    Sarah: Yes.
    Luc: Sarah, I think they're here.
    Sarah: They are.
    Luc: I'm ready to do this, even if it does lead to an all-out war.
    Lizard Fighter: What's going on?
    Lizard Fight: Ironheads, why are you here?
    Sarah: It's none of your business.
    
    Sarah: Shall we return now?
    Luc: No, not yet.  These are just low-rank soldiers.  Let's wait for their
    commander to arrive.
    Sarah: If you say so.
    
    Shiba: Hey!  You there!  Ironheads!  What are you doing here?
    Chris: We wanted to see just how powerful the greatest warrior clan among the
    Six Clans was.
    Shiba: Are you toying with us?  We consider this an act of war!
    Sarah: So what do you intend to do?  Shake your scales at us, or use your
    swords?
    Shiba: Swords!!!
    Geddoe: Wait!
    Luc: They'll suffice.
    Sarah: If you think so.
    
    Queen: With this many against us...
    Shiba: Unghhh....
    Geddoe: ....
    Chris: I think it's about time.
    Geddoe: What is this about?  This isn't like the Knights of Zexen!
    Chris: One day, you will understand.
    Geddoe: What the...?
    
    Luc: Where's Sarah?
    Albert: She was on her way here, but now we can't find her.  I warned her not
    to try anything alone.
    Yuber: Maybe she was repulsed by the smell of blood.  I don't see why.  I love
    it!  I find it quite sweet!
    
    Karaya Fighter: Who are you?  Are you one of the Zexens?
    Yuber: Hmm.  You don't need to know.  You are here to die.
    
    Yuber: This will do, I suppose.
    Albert: Almost complete.  According to my calculations, a Zexen scouting squad
    should be arriving shortly.  Call Sarah back.
    Luc: Good.  I'll take care of this, you two head for the site.
    Albert: If you insist, but be careful!
    Luc: The blaze of war....  What was that?  A small child?
    Karaya Fighter: Come no closer, you beast!  I-I'm a proud fighter of Karaya!  I
    can fight-I can!  I've been called a c-coward b-but I'll defend this village!
    You wait and see!!!
    Child: Uuuh, ah, ooohhh...
    Karaya Fighter: No!  Stay where you are!  Don't come any closer!
    Luc: I have to kill you, because you saw us here.  I have objectives to
    accomplish.  In order to do so....
    Karayan Fighter: Whooooooooo! Heyyyyyaaaaaaa!
    Child: Whoooo!  Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!  Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    Sarah: Please forgive me.  I shouldn't have gone on my own.
    Luc: Never mind, it's fine.  Are you ready?
    Sarah: Yes.
    Yuber: I hope you're right about the Zexen Knights coming this way.
    Albert: They will.  The Lizard Clan's convinced that Zexen Knights murdered
    their chief.  They'll attack the knights at the truce negotiation.  There are
    only a few knights coming.  I've confirmed this.  They'll be surrounded in the
    Grasslands, cut off from the main army.  Their military strategist is Salome
    Harras, the assistant commander.  I know his thinking well enough to surmise
    that he'll raid this village to break the siege.
    Yuber: How can you be so sure?
    Albert: Reality flows from cause to effect like a mathematical equation.
    Mortals can't comprehend this.  They're pathetic.
    Luc: But you are different than all of them?
    Albert: My family, the Silverbergs, have worked hard for generations to put
    history on the right track, so to speak.
    Yuber: Looks like you're right.  Here they come!
    
    
    Zexen Knight: Who are you?  What's going on?
    Yuber: Who are YOU?  Why not tell us YOUR identity?  On second thought, who
    cares?  You and the villagers are good mediums for anger.
    Zexen Knight: What did you say?
    
    Yuber: This should do.
    Albert: Uh-huh.  Casualties in the Karaya Clan and the Zexen Knights' Advance
    squad.  Then....
    Sarah: I've finished installing the force field of anger.  The spell reacts to
    human emotion.  It relies heavily on conditions at the time.
    Yuber: Then these are optimum conditions, are they not?
    Sarah: Yes.  Bloodshed is crucial.  I find it disgraceful, but you seem to have
    a taste for it, Yuber.
    Yuber: How right you are, my dear!
    Luc: We should get back if we're done here.  Less chance of discovery.  Time is
    of the essence.
    
    Luc: This is the Seal of Cyndar...  One of the Five Elemental Runes is concealed
    ahead.  We'll start with one rune.  Once we have two, it should be easy to get
    the rest.
    Yuber: Splendid.
    
    Yuber: Damn!  It doesn't want to let me through...
    Sarah: The seal is strong.  It consists of what the Cyndars left, plus other,
    later additions which are neither Cyndar, nor Harmonian.  This is very rare.
    Albert: Explain.
    Sarah: In addition to the original seal, they've added a new one.  They've
    hidden the key somewhere else.  This could be the Grasslands way of doing
    things.
    Luc: Can you step back a little?  As a successor of the 27 True Runes, I will
    release the seal.  So, the protection cannot be overcome...
    Sarah: Thanks to Cyndar's ancient technique... or shall we call it their magic.
    Most impressive.
    Yuber: Don't give up, even if you risk destroying it.
    Albert: Let's not be hasty.  We have plenty of other things to do in the
    meantime.
    Yuber: This shouldn't be taking so long.  Let's just take what we need and go.
    Albert: That will get us nothing but chaos.  That is not what we want.
    Yuber: Chaos would suit me just fine.
    Sarah: ?
    Luc: Sarah, what's the matter?
    Sarah: Nothing.
    Albert: We shouldn't push our luck.  It could result in diminishing returns.
    Luc: Who would have thought it would take this long?
    Sarah: Very well then...  What was that?
    Hugo: What are you doing?
    Sgt. Joe: You don't look like simple travelers.  You're not from the
    Grasslands, are you?
    Albert: I doubt if you are, either.  Your little band looks out of place here,
    too.  You are... Lilly Pendragon, daughter of the Tinto Republic president.
    Lilly: How would you know that?!
    Albert: The honor is all mine.  Pity I don't have the time to get acquainted.
    We've stalled long enough.  Say goodbye...
    Luc: I am ready.
    Yuber: I'd like to add another element of style to our exit.  It won't take but
    a moment.
    Albert: See that it doesn't.
    Yuber: But of course.
    Sgt. Joe: Stop right there!
    Yuber: I'll stop after I finish you!
    
    Yuber: Ho hum.  This is boring me.  It's not like you're even a challenge!
    Hugo: ...........
    Yuber: Ha ha ha.  Worry not, young one.  I'll put you out of your misery.
    
    Yuber: Your timing is regrettable.
    Sarah: Come now.
    Yuber: ..........
    
    Luc: It gives me great joy to devote my body and soul to my master and father,
    Chief Bishop Hikusaak, who controls all.
    Sasarai: I have been instructed by the Chief Bishop Hikusaak to appoint you as
    bishop.
    Luc: I am honored.
    Sasarai: Rise, bishop.  Blessings to you from the Circle Rune.  Very clever to
    use the words 'my father.'  How craft of you to be named a bishop without
    revealing your name or face.
    Luc: Forgive my grandiloquence, but it is how I feel.
    Sasarai: Can I trust your word?
    Luc: ..............................
    Sasarai: Blessings to our new bishop!!
    
    Villager: We never expected an honorable bishop to come to a remote town like
    ours.  I'm afraid we didn't have enough time to prepare for your visit.  Please
    feel free to use this room.
    Luc: Your service is greatly appreciated.
    Sarah: Master Luc, has the Circle Palace changed since I left?
    Luc: Do you wish to go back there, Sarah?
    Sarah: No, master, my only place is by your side.
    Luc: Sarah....
    
    Franz: We have orders from the regular army not to let any unidentified people
    in.
    Joker: The regular army?  You mean from Harmonia?  What are you, a guard dog?
    Franz: What'd you say?!
    Luc: What's going on?
    Franz: Greetings, Bishop.  I spotted these suspicious-looking characters and
    was about to run them off.
    Geddoe: Bishop?
    Luc: Who are you?  Are you Harmonian?
    Geddoe: No.  I am Geddoe, assigned to the Harmonia Regional Army's Southern
    Frontier Defense Force.
    Luc: A mercenary, huh?
    Geddoe: Yes.
    Luc: And what do you want here?
    Geddoe: We have instructions from the Defense Force to search for the True
    Rune.
    Luc: Oh, really?  I see.
    Luc: This man is a mercenary of the Harmonian army.  Take him to the village.
    Franz: Y-Yes, sir!
    Geddoe: Bishop, will you tell me your name?
    Luc: What's in a name?  There are things that are better kept secret with this
    type of mission.
    Geddoe: If you say so.
    Luc: Well, if you'll excuse me.
    
    Sarah: Master Luc.
    Luc: What is it?
    Sarah: I'll have a Mantor trainer get ready.  Please proceed when he's here.
    Luc: I will, thanks.  I'm quite exhausted from traveling to the Crystal Valley
    and back.
    
    Sarah: Excuse me.  You're one of the Mantor trainers, aren't you?
    Franz: I am.  And if I'm not mistaken, you're the bishop's attendant.  What can
    I do for you?
    
    Sarah: Could you ready yourself, please?
    Franz: Certainly.  I'll get the Mantors ready too.
    Sarah: Thank you.
    Franz: Er, excuse me, ma'am.
    Sarah: Yes?
    Franz: Er, I have a favor to ask you.
    Sarah: Yes?
    Franz: Could you ask the bishop to consider making the people of Le Buque
    second-class citizens?
    Sarah: If I'm correct, Le Buque only became part of Harmonia a few decades
    back.  It usually takes a lot longer than that to become second-class citizens.
    Franz: Yes, but I've heard that some countries acquired second-class status
    through exemplary service on the battlefield.  Isn't there some way I could
    prevent my people from being treated like slaves?  Can you help?
    Sarah: .............
    Sarah: This place feels like a prison for you, doesn't it?
    Franz: Sorry, I didn't mean to....
    Sarah: No, no.  I'll pass on your wishes, but that's all I can do.
    Franz: Oh, thank you very much!
    Sarah: In my view, you are the ones who are actually free.
    
    Sarah: All preparations are complete.
    Luc: Could I... have some time?
    Sarah: Something on your mind?
    Luc: Yes...  Time flows toward the end of the world.  Can you see it?
    Sarah: The end of this world?
    Luc: Yes, the end of the future.  Don't you see?
    Sarah: I'm not powerful enough, I guess.  Master Luc, you can see that?
    Luc: I don't see it, but the True Wind Rune remembers it.
    Sarah: Really?
    Luc: The world will ultimately end in a huge battle to settle the power
    struggle between dharma and chaos.  Humans will not survive.  Our future is
    predetermined.  To avoid our fate, we'd have to oppose the battle which
    controls the world: that of man versus balance.  It's a war against the gods.
    Man can't fight his destiny.  This is the end, know by the True Wind Rune.  The
    desired end.
    Sarah: How can you know your future?
    Luc: This world is one of several million worlds that exist.  And this battle
    has been fought many thousands of times....
    Sarah: ............
    Luc: But I....
    Sarah: Master, you want to change the future; our destiny?
    Luc: Others would find this act unforgivable.  A million people will die.  I
    know extreme death, but I still don't have the courage.
    Sarah: Master Luc, if you want to carry out your wish, I will follow you.
    Include me in the millions of lives you take.
    Luc: I too will perish.
    Sarah: As I trust you, I'll follow your path.  This is my nature.
    Luc: Thank you, Sarah....
    
    Yuber: Hmm.  You're late.
    Luc: The Flame Champion tricked us again.  He's clever.  Difficult to deal
    with.
    Yuber: So it was his idea to leave the key to the seal here in Alma Kinan, a
    village virtually hidden behind a curtain of rituals.
    Sarah: The ritual must have begun already.
    Yuber: Indeed.  I've been waiting for this!
    
    Chris: Y-Yun....
    Nash: This is not Zexen or Holy Harmonia.  The Grasslanders have their own
    ways.  Look how they curse us for cutting trees and burning grass to make way
    for 'stone piles.'
    Chris: To die by the sword is noble...but to give up your life freely?
    Nash: Not for us to say.
    Luc: I fully agree with the lady.  I'd advise you to stop the ritual.  I'll
    release the seal of the True Water Rune.
    Yuiri: You!  I saw you not too long ago!
    Yuber: I told you I know where the village was.
    Yuiri: Disgraceful intruders!  You defile this sacred place!  Leave this
    instant!
    Chris: Why now?
    Yuber: On guard!
    
    Yuber: Grr, you little cheater!
    Chris: I don't know who you are, but I won't let you go near Yun!
    Luc: She'll be dead after the ritual anyway.  What difference does it make?
    Chris: Shut up!
    Fred: Oh, brother.
    Yuiri: The ritual is over.
    Sarah: We shouldn't have taken so long.  The seal has been released.  The True
    Water Rune is...
    Luc: ...gone with the Water Seal, I imagine.  That's fine.  There's another seal
    left.  We'll still manage if we get that one.
    Yuber: You say everything is determined by the will of the Balance?
    Luc: If you are thinking of destiny, then you are wrong.  That girl sacrificed
    her life to secure the seal and keep the rune from falling into my hands.
    We'll have to fight this.
    
    Yuber: Look what we've got.  Nothing!  The seal of the Fire Rune was a fake.
    The seal of the Water Rune disappeared before we could even take it.
    Sarah: Shall we delay the Harmonian main army's invasion?
    Luc: No, we won't alter the schedule.  The temple will realize our plan sooner
    or later.  We must carry out the whole plan before then.
    Sarah: Time is running short.
    Luc: Uh huh, but if we miss this chance, we'll never be able to collect all
    five True Runes.
    Yuber: Are we really that short on time?
    Luc: I am not as patient as you.  By the way, where is Albert?
    Sarah: He was supposed to meet us here.  I'll go look for him.
    
    
    Yuber: I'm surprised you're late.  You're usually so punctual.
    Albert: Sorry, but I stumbled upon some very intriguing information.
    Luc: Information?
    Albert: Yes, I was with Bishop Sasarai's unit en route to invade Chisha Village
    when I heard a rumor that a boy was calling himself the Flame Champion turned
    up after I left the village.
    Yuber: Chisha Village?  The regular army had problems with that measly little
    village!  What's going on?
    Albert: It was just a scouting squad, so you couldn't really expect more of
    them.
    Luc: Anyway, what about that boy who called himself the Flame Champion?
    Albert: There was a cunning little brat with them, so it must be one of their
    tactics.  One of our scouts said he saw them head for a mountain north of
    Chisha Village.
    Sarah: What do you mean?
    Albert: I was intrigued, so I didn't some research.  I found a report in the
    Harmonia regular army's records.  They surveyed the Cyndar Ruins at the time of
    the last invasion 50 years ago.  Flame Champion, the head of the Fire Bringer
    at the time, was supposedly born in that area.
    Luc: Interesting... If the Cyndar Ruins are there, and if we can get close
    enough, Sarah can tell us their exact location.
    Albert: Yes, are we leaving right away?
    Luc: Uh, huh, we might as well.
    Albert: Then I'll have someone get ready for you.
    
    Yuber: Are you saying, the Flame Champion, who bears one of the 27 True Runes,
    is here?
    Luc: Sarah, do you feel anything?
    Sarah: No, but somehow....  Master Luc, what was that?
    Luc: Yes, I felt it too.  How could the True Fire Rune be here?  How could it
    unseal itself?
    Sarah: Could it be... the successor?
    Luc: I don't know.  Even then, we just have to take the rune.  Let's hurry!
    
    Luc: What can this be?
    Sarah: A seal.  This is another Cyndar seal, that was refurbished at a later
    time.  It looks like it was loosened.
    Luc: So this is why a few minutes ago...  Sarah, do it.
    Sarah: As you wish.
    
    Hugo: Lady Chris... Geddoe... I hope I'm the right person for this.  I have no
    idea
    why I was chosen as the new bearer of the True Fire Rune...
    Luc: He shouldn't bear the Rune if he doesn't understand its true purpose or
    meaning.
    Sana: W-why are you here?  This place is supposed to be sealed!
    Luc: You just unsealed it yourself.  When I sought the rune previously, it was
    impossible to find this location.  The Flame Champion must have been an
    extremely cunning man.  I searched Le Buque, the Safir Clan... even Alma Kinan.
    He caused me a lot fo trouble, but it doesn't matter now.  I've found what I'm
    after.  Give me the rune.
    Hugo: Hey, I saw you back on the highway!
    Yuber: Oh, yeah, I remember you.  How could a kid like you ever bear a True
    Rune?  Life has strange twists, I guess.
    Hugo: Damn!
    Luc: Let's get on with this, shall we?  I'm a very busy man.
    Hugo: I won't give you the rune!  This is a token to show that I took over the
    spirit of the Flame Champion!!!
    Luc: Go ahead and resist.  It'll give me a chance to practice my powers of
    persuasion!
    Luc: So, shall we get started, Flame Champion?
    
    Luc: It can't be...
    Yuber: I can't believe my eyes.  You can't have awakened the power of the True
    Rune already.
    Albert: Impossible....
    Luc: I guess we have to admit it....
    Sana: Be careful!  He's using the True Rune's power!!!!
    Hugo: Damn!!!
    
    Luc: What was that?  Was it the spirit of the last Flame Champion?
    Yuber: It's just more futile resistance.
    Sarah: Please, hold it there.  The gate has just been opened....
    Sgt. Joe: What's going on?  Somebody, tell me!
    Nash: What's going on?
    Ace: Boss!!!!  What happened?  Where am I?
    Luc: What's happening?
    Albert: This place is filled with traces of the last Flame Champion's aura.  It
    is not advisable to fight here.  Sarah.
    Sarah: Yes, sir.
    Luc: Why?  Why can't we do as we choose?  Is this the spirit force of the rune?
    Hugo: Stop!  Stop right there!  No!  Don't run away!
    Luc: I will leave the run with you for the time being, but I will be back
    soon....
    
    Luc: How could we fail again?  Damn it!
    Sarah: Nevertheless, since the True Fire Rune has a new owner, the seal applied
    in the name of Flame Champion has weakened.  Now that the seal in Alma Kinan is
    released...
    Yuber: What if this doesn't work?
    Luc: I have an idea, but that boy's eyes... reminded me of the former...
    
    Yuber: Make sure the door opens this time.  We can't afford further delays.
    Sarah: Yuber!
    Luc: Don't worry.  We should be fine now that the True Fire Rune has been
    unsealed.  There's also the reemergence of the True Lightning Rune and the
    breaking of the seal kept by Alma Kinan to help us along.
    Luc: The door is opening!
    Sarah: Finally, the first one.
    Yuber: At last.
    
    Sarah: Huh?
    Luc: What is it, Sarah?
    Sarah: It seems like someone has been following us.  It's the successor to the
    True Fire Rune...  I will remain here and prevent him from getting any closer.
    Luc: All right, Sarah, but do be careful.  Your opponent's title may be new to
    him, but he has a True Rune.
    Sarah: Please do not worry about me.  Remember, I have dedicated my life to
    you.  You should take good care of yourself, Master Luc.
    Luc: Thanks, Sarah.  I'll leave this to you.
    
    Luc: Ugh, how could this be...
    Jimba: I'd rather have it this way than give it up to you.
    Albert: You're well aware of what happens when a rune goes out of control.  You
    must've seen it 50 years ago.
    Jimba: I did, which is why I can't surrender the True Rune to you.
    Albert: Are you sure?  You, these ruins, and the nearby area of the Grasslands
    will be destroyed.
    Jimba: So what?  I have the spirits protecting me.
    Yuber: Huh, mere superstition!
    Sarah: What happened?  Are you okay?
    Luc: I'm fine, Sarah.
    Sarah: Luc!  Master Luc, I can't live without you...
    Luc: I'm all right... I'm all right, Sarah.
    Yuber: This is getting complicated.  I think we should back off at once.
    Albert: I agree.  We'll get it later.
    Jimba: Hmm, you... are the bearer of the True Wind Rune, aren't you?  The
    spirits
    have told me so...
    Luc: So?
    Jimba: How long have you lived so far?
    Luc: 30 years... I've been cursed for 30 years.
    Jimba: Heh... You're still a child.  I suppose you don't even have children of
    your own.
    Luc: Why would you want any when you're cursed?  You don't have a future, do
    you understand?
    Jimba: Heh... Don't be a fool.  I've lived 70 years and have just one daughter.
    I've tried to run away thinking like you.  When I had a baby girl, I was scared
    for her future.  I just had a chance to see her recently... Heh heh!  She was
    astonishingly beautiful.  She reminded me of Anna.  I almost cried with joy.
    I'd been so filled with anger about my fate, but then I felt happy for a
    moment.  If she's in this world, it doesn't matter whether I live or die.  My
    daughter is on her way here, so she can carry on my visions.  This will be the
    happiest moment in my life.  I'm sure of it.
    Luc: What are you getting at?
    Jimba: I'm saying that life is meaningless if you can't entrust it to someone.
    We don't age, but we are not given eternal life.  All that's just an illusion.
    You and I will eventually disappear.  Then...
    Luc: I will end the legacy of miserable visions with my own hands...
    Jimba: Huh... you're still a kid....
    Yuber: He's still breathing.  Shall I put an end to him?
    Luc: No, leave him alone.  What a pity.  He lives in his hope.  He won't
    survive anyway.
    
    Sasarai: So, as expected, his intentions were...
    Nash: Yes, it appears he is after the Five Elemental Runes for his own personal
    gain, and not for the benefit of Harmonia.  It's likely they had something to
    do with the riots in the Lizard and Karaya Clans.  This is before we tried to
    move their armies.
    Sasarai: We should act quickly.  Wha-?  Who's there?
    Luc: It took you long enough to notice me.  You should be more careful.
    Nash: You are... Bishop Sasarai's...
    Sasarai: Well, well, well.  It's been fifteen years.
    Luc: That's right, my brother.  And you seem to have spent the past fifteen
    years idling away your time.
    Nash: I ordered everyone to leave the room.  Do you intend to defy temple
    traditions?
    Luc: That no longer concerns me.  Sasarai, give me your True Earth Rune.  I
    thought I could leave this for the end, but my plan has somehow gone awry.
    Sasarai: What?  Who do you think you are?
    Luc: You want to know who I think I am?  Oh yes, I'll tell you who we are, you
    and me.
    Sasarai: You and me?
    Luc: That's right.  Holy Harmonia... no, Chief Bishop Hikusaak wants to collect
    all 27 True Runes.  Unfortunately the True Runes can only be borne by
    successors chosen by the runes themselves, and can only be sealed in certain
    places.
    Sasarai: So?
    Luc: So Hikusaak has acquired an interesting method to keep the True Runes in
    his possession.
    Nash: What is it?
    Luc: A rune crystal.  But this is no ordinary crystal.  It is used for sealing
    the 27 True Runes.  And can you guess what's inside?
    Sasarai: It's... No, it can't be... but its appearance...
    Luc: Yes, this is...us.  Our arms, legs, eyes... everything is dissolved in this
    milky white liquid.  They're the ingredients for a human body.  And...
    Sasarai: Cough, cough!
    Luc: Look closely!  It's us!!  This is what we're made of.  Made to bear the
    True Runes while maintaining a human appearance.  We are duplicates of Hikusaak
    himself, who's also a rune bearer.
    Nash: Why, you!
    Luc: I will take the True Earth Rune.  You have no need for it.
    Sasarai: No...
    Luc: Do you mean to say you have the willpower to live, despite this knowledge?
    Sasarai: ..........
    
    Sarah: The preparation is almost complete.  Albert and Yuber are adding the
    final touches.
    Luc: I see... Sarah, are you tired?  You look pale.
    Sarah: A little.  Large-scale illusions are exhausting to create.
    Luc: Please take care of yourself.  Now that we've lost the backing of the
    Harmonian army, we must rely on your powers.
    Sarah: I know.
    Sarah: Luc... Are you really going through with the ritual?
    Luc: Absolutely.  The ritual is my only hope.
    Sarah: I see.
    
    Luc: If you won't hand it over, I'll seize it myself!
    Geddoe: I won't let you!
    Luc: I am not asking your permission.  We have a special procedure for doing
    this in Harmonia.  It's a particularly painful technique, or so I hear.
    Sarah...
    Sarah: Yes.
    Luc: I only need one of the other Five Elemental Runes-Fire, Water, Earth, or
    Lightning-to collect them all.  The True Wind Rune that I bear will upset the
    balance when combined with the True Earth Rune, allow me to seize your rune.  I
    thought I would leave the True Earth Rune to the end, but I suppose I have no
    choice.
    Geddoe: No...
    Queen: Geddoe!!!!!
    Ace: Boss!!!!!!!
    Luc: Now the True Lightning Rune is in my hand.  Since you bore the rune for so
    long, its power hasn't left you entirely.  So you will live on for now, but
    eventually you will die.  Perhaps you will see this as a blessing, Geddoe?  I
    almost forgot.  I'll leave a little present for you outside.  I'd like you to
    extend your stay here a little longer.
    
    Sgt. Joe: Hugo, are you all right?
    Hugo: Ugh!  Yeah.
    Luc: Now that the Five Elemental Runes have been brought together, I'll get my
    wish.  Yuber, I leave the rest to you.  Follow me after you have finished here.
    Yuber: Agreed.  Do as you wish.  I simply desire a good fight with plenty of
    blood and the screams of the dying.
    Hugo: Damn!  Hold it.
    Hugo: Why are you doing this?  I don't know the secret power of the True Rune,
    nor how to use it!  Why are you trying to do this?  Why do you want to take the
    lives of so many people?
    Luc: I always answer a good question.  I'm going to destroy the fifth True Rune
    with the other four I've collected.  Simple, eh?
    Hugo: I don't understand!
    Caesar: You want to destroy God.  Is that it, killer Priest?
    Luc: Absolutely.  Bravo!  You guessed right.
    Hugo: But why?!
    Caesar: The 27 True Runes are the source of the power keeping this world in
    balance: the ultimate power that controls this world.  To destroy a rune is to
    clash with fate and destroy God.  The act unleashes the uncontrollable power of
    the rune.  I warn you, it is much worse than the release of the Flame
    Champion's True Fire Rune and the True Water Rune.
    Luc: It has the potential to blow up the Grasslands and the entire continent-
    including Holy Harmonia.
    Hugo: Why would anyone want to do that?
    Luc: Wouldn't any prisoner seek freedom?
    Hugo: We're prisoners?
    Luc: It's been 1000 years since this world was created after the War of the
    Swords and Shields, but people haven't evolved in the meantime.  They have been
    caught in the web of conflicts between the True Runes.  I've witnessed them.
    And I've experienced the other memories held by the True Wind Rune.
    Hugo: So...
    Luc: The world is really a prison controlled by the True Runes.
    Hugo: We are not prisoners!  We live, fight, and die of our own free will.
    Luc: Then your definition of freedom is the ability to walk around in a giant
    cell with an invisible leash around your neck.
    Hugo: Don't even think about leaving!  You have to defeat me first!
    Luc: No time for that, I'm afraid.  I'm done preparing for the ritual.  The
    four True Runes are already inside the vessel, waiting.  I just have to enter
    its center.  That will crush the True Wind Rune, and my soul along with it.
    Hugo: Stop right there!
    Luc: I once entrusted my dream to a person with your eyes and your heart.  A
    very long time ago.  Farewell, Hugo.
    
    Luc: Here at last!
    Sarah: Your wish will finally come true!
    Luc: Yes.  At last I can put an end to these 30 long years.
    Yuber: The destruction of the True Rune will bring chaos.  This is fine by me,
    but how does that make you feel as a human?
    Luc: Human, you say?  Look at this.  This ball is filled with human components.
    I'm just an assortment of these.  I was created solely for the purpose of
    sealing the True Runes.  Do you call this human?  I am no different from you,
    Yuber.
    Yuber: Me?  You must be kidding!  Actually, I suspect you are somewhat fond of
    humans...  You know, if you wish to free them from their destiny, there is a
    very
    easy way...
    Albert: If you mean death, then no thanks.  I rather enjoy the world populated
    by humans.
    Luc: I thought you'd run away.  You've managed to gain favor in the eyes of
    those in high positions.
    Albert: Well of course, that was my original intention.  But rest assured, I
    wouldn't dream of interfering with your ritual.
    Luc: If you do, I'll kill you on the spot!
    Sarah: Master Luc.
    Albert: It's about time.  The Fire Bringer should arrive outside any minute.
    Those who survived your wrath, that is...
    Luc: ..........
    Albert: Do I sense a lingering attachment to this world?
    Luc: Let's go, Sarah, Yuber!  No, there's no attachment.  They just reminded me
    of people I used to know, that's all.
    
    Dios: We must be lucky today.  No one seems to be guarding the rune.
    Sasarai: So it seems.
    Thomas: Are you sure no one's here?
    Dios: Do you doubt me?
    Cecile: Look!  Someone IS there!
    Dios: You're just trying to scare me.  It's not funny, you know.
    Sasarai: Dios!
    Dios! What?!
    Sasarai: You!
    Luc: I am surprised to see you've come this far, my elder brother.  I thought
    you were a bishop sheltered in the temple.
    Sasarai: I'll have the True Earth Rune returned to me and take your True Wind
    Rune back to Harmonia, where it came from.  Leknaat, the witch, stole it when
    she abducted you from the Crystal Valley.
    Luc: You can talk your gibberish after you defeat me.
    Dios: You'll have to defeat me first.  I won't let you touch Bishop Sasarai...
    
    Dios: Uuggghhhh!  Sorry, Bishop Sasarai, I'm not good at dealing with this....
    Sasarai: Never mind, Dios, I'll take him on.
    Cecile: Let me join you.
    Sasarai: No thanks, you stay behind.  Let me finish this one.
    Luc: You think you can win, my brother?
    
    Cecile: You can't do that!
    Thomas: No!  Not in a million years!  Go away!
    Thomas: Stop!  Not until Bishop Sasarai gets his True Earth Rune back....
    Cecile: That's right, no way!
    Thomas: I won't let you!  Never!
    Cecile: Master Thomas is right.  Never, never, never!
    Luc: Why do you persist?  Don't you want to live any longer?
    Thomas: I won't back down!  I promised everyone in the castle that I'd protect
    them.  I keep promises.
    Cecile: I made a promise to protect Master Thomas, and I stick to my oaths!
    Luc: Promises, promises.  Is that all that matters to you?  Damn!  Now I lose
    the Fire Rune!  This is getting ridiculous!
    Sasarai: Where are you going now?
    Luc: With this Earth Rune alone, the force field can be broken at any time.
    The ritual must be done quickly!
    Sasarai: Are you sure you can leave me here?  I'll get my True Earth Rune back.
    Luc: I hate you more than anything in this world.  But at the same time, you're
    the only one I empathize with.
    Sasarai: Luc...  You are....
    Luc: This will be the final battle to decide whether humans can change their
    destiny.  I am a demon, prepared to sacrifice as many lives as it takes.
    You'll see it happen, and you'll die here.
    
    Hugo: It's over.
    Luc: Yes.  After all, I too am bound by destiny.
    Hugo: Destiny?  Who are you kidding?  I won't let you leave like this.  Too
    much blood and too many tears have fallen.
    Fubar: Kueeeeee!
    Geddoe: Come on, Hugo, run!
    Hugo: Not yet!  We have to get him!
    Sgt Joe: We can't stay any longer!  Let's go!
    
    Luc: Ugh.... Uh....
    
    Sarah: Master Luc....  Sir, are you all right?
    Luc: Sarah, I tried to gather the power of all Five Elemental Runes to destroy
    the True Wind Rune I bore in my body.  I could only draw out its power.  My
    soul couldn't cope with such intensity.
    Sarah: So what will happen now?
    Luc: These ruins will collapse....  Sarah, you must escape.  You are free to go.
    Sarah: No, I'll stay.  I chose to follow you and let a million people die.  I
    must be punished for this.
    Luc: Sarah....
    
    Sarah: I was living in that palace all alone.  No one cared for me, even though
    they were after my power.  Only you....
    Luc: I might have been after your power, too.
    Sarah: It doesn't matter.  I chose you because you brought me joy.  I must
    accept my punishment....
    Luc: But...  Still, you should....  Sarah?  I sincerely thank you, Sarah....
    My soul
    will be healed.  I'm convinced now that I too have a soul of my own....
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Recruitment: [RecruSce]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    [Explored around a bit and find Rhett and Wilder in Duck Village]
    
    Wilder: Oh!  Sergeant, good to see you again.
    Rhett: Hey, Sergeant.  Welcome back!
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Wilder: Sergeant, how goes the battle?
    Rhettt: You're right in the thick of it again, eh?  Ho ho!  Superb!
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Wilder: What is it, Sergeant?
    Rhett: ?
    Sgt. Joe: .........
    Wilder: Um, you aren't angry, are you?
    Rhett: So you are angry....  What's the matter?
    Sgt. Joe: Good grief!  What are you doing?  Do you realize what's going on?
    Quack!
    Rhettt: Qua-qua-quaquaquack!
    Wilder: Qua-a-a-a-a-a!
    Sgt. Joe: Tell me why you're here.  Come on, speak!
    Wilder: We're here for, um...
    Rhett: Our job is to guard the village, so that's what we're doing.
    Sgt. Joe: You're needed elsewhere now.  Go to Budehuc Castle and fight with the
    others there.
    Wilder: But you see, um....  We're not exactly....  We're...
    Rhett: We're conscientious objectors.
    Sgt. Joe: Useless ducks!  Get ready to leave for Budehuc immediately!
    Wilder: Quaaaaaack!
    
    [Wilder runs off, as does Rhett]
    
    Sgt. Joe: Pathetic!  They'll learn.  Fast.
    
    [Recruit Jefferson]
    
    Cecile: I'm telling you that unauthorized people can't enter!  Go away!
    Jefferson: Who do you think you're talking to?!  I belong here!  Outta my way,
    Tin-Head Halter!  Call for the castle lord!
    Cecile: Who are you calling dim!  What gives you the right to call people
    whatever you like!  Juan, put him in his place!
    Juan: Pipe down.  Let him do as he likes.
    Jefferson: Ah, listen to this!  This young man makes sense.  From this day on,
    he will be...  ..the "Goldbrick Gang Boss"!  Try to live up to your title!
    Juan: Who are you calling a "Gang Boss"!
    Cecile: Name calling will get you nowhere fast!  How'd you like it if someone
    called you "Loudmouth Loser"?  Get out of here before I throw you out!
    Geddoe: What's wrong?
    Cecile: Someone, hold me back!  I'm ready to rip this guy a new mouth hole!  I
    despise your strange names!
    Jefferson: Strange?  What do you mean?!  You're the Tin-Head Halter!  And
    you're the "Goldbrick Gang Boss"!  Nothing strange about that!  They're perfect
    titles!
    Cecile: That's insulting!
    Geddoe: Why are you here?
    Jefferson: I heard many people have come here recently, so I came too.  When a
    group of people reach a certain number, they need individual titles that
    acknowledge their abilities.  No doubt about it.
    Geddoe: Titles?
    Jefferson: Ahem.  Titles build order and discipline, guaranteeing peace and
    prosperity.  People take pride in their titles.  "Tin-Head Halter" and
    "Goldbrick Gang Boss," you agree, don't you?!
    Cecile: Not for a second!
    Juan: Ignore him and maybe he'll shut up.
    Jefferson: What are you whispering about, "Goldbrick Gang Boss"!
    Juan: Stop calling me that!!!
    Geddoe: .........
    Jefferson: If you ever want to enhance your career and prestige, come see me.
    I'll give you and unforgettable title that'll set you apart from the rest!  Now
    then...
    
    [Jefferson has joined the 108 stars]
    
    [Recruit Ernie]
    
    Erine: Uh.... Am I in the way if I stand here?  I suppose I am...  ...Where
    should I
    stand?  I'm trying to stay out of everyone's way... Sorry.
    Geddoe: I didn't say anything.
    Ernie: Uh... okay ... Right!  I interpreted things wrong.  I'm sorry...
    Geddoe: You look studious.  Are you a scholar or something?
    Ernie: Well... I wouldn't call myself a scholar.  I'm just a beginner.  I barely
    qualified for the job.  I don't even have a laboratory yet.
    Geddoe: I think they had rooms at Budehuc Castle.  You might be able to use one
    as a lab.
    Ernie: ...Uh, is that right?  But... Let's see...  Um... This is just a
    sideline....
    
    [She'll give you a quiz at this point]
    
    Ernie: Oh yes!  With people like you to help and guide me, I'll have great luck
    with my research.  I'd love to go to Budehuc Castle!  Yes, I know where it is.
    Bye for now!
    Geddoe: How dare she test me...
    
    [Ernie has joined the 108 Stars]
    
    [Recruit Mel]
    
    Mel: Huh?  Are you talking to me?  Am I street performer?  No, I'm not.  Oh,
    Branky?  This is Branky.  Introduce yourself, Branky.
    Branky: Hee hee hee!  Branky's my name, and smiling's my game!  What are you
    doing talking to my Mel?
    Mel: Hey, don't be rude!  I apologize.  Branky needs to have his mouth washed
    out.
    Branky: Who made you the boss?  Are you looking for a date?  You're really out
    of control!
    Mel: That's enough out of you!  You don't want to get into trouble.  Bad doll!
    Branky: You're hurting me!  Aarrrggghhh!  Stop it!  Stop!
    Mel: Understand?!
    Branky: I made a mistake!  I apologize!  Just stop!
    Mel: I'll let it slide this time, but don't try that again!  Forgive my bratty
    pal.  Branky doesn't mean anything by it.  What can I do for you?
    Thomas: ................  Huh?  Uh...  I can't remember.  You are welcome to
    come to
    Budehuc.  I officially invite you.
    Mel: You want us to come to Budehuc?  I know the place, but I've never been
    there.  You interested, Branky?
    Branky: Beware, Mel!  These kidnappers are up to no good.  Don't trust
    strangers.
    Mel: Get your mind out of that cesspit!  Now, then.  If I'm worthy of being
    invited, I shall go.
    Branky: Mel, you aren't listening to me!  Don't be so gullible.
    Mel: Are you accusing me of being a loose woman?  Huh?  You are!  Understand!?
    Branky: Ouch!  Owwwwww!  Stop!  Stop!  I was bad again!  Sorry!
    Mel: You have no manners at all.  So, I'll go to Budehuc now and see you there
    later.  Thank you for inviting me.
    
    [Mel has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    Thomas: ...............
    
    [Recruit Gordon]
    
    Gordon: Hmm.  Pretty good.  Actually, better than good.  Very sophisticated.
    You've got a gentlemanly air about you.
    Thomas: Excuse me?
    Gordon: This is disappointing.  The others....  The sharpness of a fine
    gentleman
    can be dulled by the company he keeps, as is true in your case.
    Thomas: You mean what?
    Gordon: Pardon me.  Take all the time you need to examine my merchandise.
    
    [Come back with just Augustine in your party]
    
    Gordon: Well.  Look at this.  Most excellent!  The finest of gentlemen! I hope
    you'll add me to your elite group.
    Thomas: Absolutely!
    Gordon: Lucky stars!  What should be the first order of business for me?
    Budehuc Castle.  Right, I'll leave at once.  Pardon me.
    
    [He steps away and looks back]
    
    Gordon: Truly majestic, you are.
    
    [Gordon has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Mio with Thomas]
    
    Villager: Thank you so much!  Everywhere I went, no one bothered with me
    because they couldn't diagnose my illness.  I can't believe you came all this
    distance to help me.  May the spirit bless you!
    Tuta: Your health is our reward.  To save a life is a special experience, and
    doesn't happen every day.  Right, Miss Mio?
    Mio: Yes, Dr. Tuta.
    Tuta: Please, you needn't call me doctor.  I'm still in training.
    Mio: Then what would you like me to call you?  Mister?
    Tuta: Uh, well, that doesn't sound right either...
    Villager: ............
    Tuta: Well, take care of yourself.  Since we're already way out here, we're
    going to visitng the nearby villages and treat the sick.  Coming, Miss Mio?
    Mio: Yes, Dr. Tuta.
    Thomas: Are you people doctors?
    Tuta: Yes.  We're from the Dunan.  I'm Tuta, and this is my nurse over here,
    Miss Mio.
    Mio: Pleased to meet you.  I'm in training while traveling with the doctor.
    Thomas: And from now on?
    Tuta: Both Zexen and Grassland have areas that lack modern medicine.  We'd like
    to bring our skills to these people.
    Thomas: In that case...
    
    [Time passes, Thomas explains stuff]
    
    Tuta: Sounds like a remote place like Budehuc Castle could use better medicine.
    But before I end up there, I'd like to stop off at other needy villages near
    here.
    Mio: That makes sense.
    Tuta: Why don't you go on ahead to Budehuc Castle to set things up?  I'll meet
    you there after I've made my rounds.
    Mio: That's fine with me, but will you be okay by yourself?
    Tuta: I'll be fine unless I get a major surgery to perform, like we had today.
    Don't get me wrong, you're a valuable asset, and I'm not sloughing you off.
    Mio: Aren't there monsters to contend with out here on the plains?
    Tuta: Not to worry, I'm tougher than I look.  I fought in the Dunan army, you
    know.
    Mio: That's slightly reassuring, but keep your eyes peeled!
    Tuita: Of course.  Well, could you please give Miss Mio the directions to that
    castle?  I'm off to the next village in need.
    Thomas: Yes, of course.
    Mio: Good luck and safe travels!
    
    [Mio has joined the 108 Stars.]
    
    [Recruit Mio with Chris]
    
    Villager: Thank you so much!  Everywhere I went, no one bothered with me
    because they couldn't diagnose my illness.  I can't believe you came all this
    distance to help me.  May the spirit bless you!
    Tuta: Your health is our reward.  To save a life is a special experience, and
    doesn't happen every day.  Right, Miss Mio?
    Mio: Yes, Dr. Tuta.
    Tuta: Please, you needn't call me doctor.  I'm still in training.
    Mio: Then what would you like me to call you?  Mister?
    Tuta: Uh, well, that doesn't sound right either...
    Villager: ............
    Tuta: Well, take care of yourself.  Since we're already way out here, we're
    going to visitng the nearby villages and treat the sick.  Coming, Miss Mio?
    Mio: Yes, Dr. Tuta.
    Chris: Excuse me, but are you doctors?
    Tuta: Yes.  We're from the Lowland.  I'm Tuta, and this is my nurse over here,
    Miss Mio.
    Mio: Pleased to meet you.  I'm in training while traveling with the doctor.
    Chris: So what are your future plans?
    Tuta: Both Zexen and Grassland have areas that lack modern medicine.  We'd like
    to bring our skills to these people.
    Chris: If that's the case...
    
    [Time passes, Chris explains stuff]
    
    Tuta: Sounds like a remote place like Budehuc Castle could use better medicine.
    But before I end up there, I'd like to stop off at other needy villages near
    here.
    Mio: That makes sense.
    Tuta: Why don't you go on ahead to this Castle to set things up?  I'll meet you
    there after I've made my rounds.
    Mio: That's fine with me, but will you be okay by yourself?
    Tuta: I'll be fine unless I get a major surgery to perform, like we had today.
    Don't get me wrong, you're a valuable asset, and I'm not sloughing you off.
    Mio: Aren't there monsters to contend with out here on the plains?
    Tuta: Not to worry, I'm tougher than I look.  I fought in the Lowland army, you
    know.
    Mio: That's slightly reassuring, but keep your eyes peeled!
    Tuta: Of course.  Well, could you please give Miss Mio the directions to that
    castle?  I'm off to the next village in need.
    Chris: Sure.  I understand.
    Mio: Good luck and safe travels!
    
    [Mio has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Twaikin]
    
    Twaikin: What do you want?  Don't get too close, or you'll be in trouble!
    Thomas: What're you doing?
    Twaikin: Gahahaha!  This?  I'm expanding the bottom floor.
    Thomas: Expanding...?  You're digging it by yourself?  Wow... That's incredible!
    Twaikin: Of course!  I did all the calculations myself, and I'm doing all the
    digging myself.  Ah...  Here comes another pest!
    Lizard Fighter: Hold it right there!  How dare you dig without approval, mole
    man!
    Twaikin: Gahahahaha!  It's not very nice to call me "mole man."  I prefer
    "dwarf."
    Lizard Fighter: Hey!  I warned you about this before!  Just the other day!
    Twaikin: Don't get your boots in a bind!  I'm not doing anything wrong!
    Thomas: What do you mean?
    Twaikin: ...
    Thomas: I-It's nothing.
    Twaikin: See?
    Lizard Fighter: Well, we can't have you making holes everywhere.
    Twaikin: Come on.  I dug you up a fabulous equipment store, didn't I?
    Lizard Fighter: I said no!  You-over there!  If this one starts digging again,
    come and tell me.  You hear?
    Twaikin: Gahahahaha!  He wasn't too pleased.  Maybe I'll just stop for today.
    Thomas: I see you're a dwarf.
    Twaikin: I try not to get too lonely.  I keep busy digging.  I dug all the way
    from the Toran Republic, you know.
    Thomas: Will you join my group?
    Twaikin: If I do, can I keep digging holes?  If so, I'll join right away.
    Thomas: Sure.  Budehuc Castle will be needing repairs.
    Twaikin: All right.  It's decided, then.
    
    [Twaikin has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Goro]
    
    Goro: No....  This isn't it!    This?  No, this isn't it, either!  This guy's
    baths are much quieter, yet stimulating in a regal way!
    Thomas: Um...
    Goro: I'd say this guy's bath is like a womb-warm, comfortable and safe inside.
    Ahhhhh!  Who are you?!
    Thomas: Um...
    
    [Fade out, Thomas explains stuff]
    
    Goro: How embarrassing!  Why didn't you speak up if you were there?
    Thomas: Uh, excuse me.
    Goro: I'm not going to get into it.  I'm sorry, but I don't have time to deal
    with you now.  I have to find the right wood for my bath.
    Thomas: A bath?
    Goro: Yeah, I'm going to build the most amazing bath and beat that guy!
    Thomas: Um, would you like me to help?
    Goro: You'll help?  Hmm, it looks like I've found someone who can handle the
    work.  You can help me.
    
    [Mio helps him]
    
    Goro: This is good!  You helped me find the proper wood!  Now to build a better
    bath than he has!  Only one problem....  Maybe you can help me.
    Thomas: Uh, yes?
    Goro: You're from Budehuc Castle, right?  What if I built my bath there?  Can
    you ask the castle for me?
    Thomas: Of course it's okay!
    Goro: Really?  Thank you.  I can have my very own bath house.  I'll have a
    better place than that guy!
    Thomas: So, who is this "guy" you speak of?
    Goro: He's my rival.  That guy builds the best baths!  I hate to say it, but
    they're the most pleasurable in the world.  The blissful feeling lulls you to
    sleep.  I can't outdo him without better supplies and a bigger place.
    Thomas: .....
    Goro: But, you watch!  I'll make that guy fall asleep in my bath some day!  His
    body and soul will be in ecstasy.  One day...you'll see!
    
    [Goro has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Nei, Toppo, Shabon]
    
    Thomas: Did someone just pass by?
    
    Nei: Um... did you see a small child?
    Thomas: A small child?
    Nei: A little girl, dressed a bit strangely....  Oh, my!  Where could she have
    gone?
    
    Guillaume: Ho ho ho ho!  Isn't this fun?
    Shabon: This isn't any fun at all.  I want to go home.
    Thomas: Ahem.  She doesn't seem to like that.  Let her go, okay?
    Guillaume: Ho ho ho.  It's rude to talk back!  There's one way to deal with
    that.  Come on, boy!  Take your punishment!
    Thomas: Wh-What?!
    
    [Duel with Guillaume]
    
    Guillaume: Guaaaaa!!!  I lost!  You just remember!  Just remember this!
    Thomas: .....
    Shabon: You saved me.  Thank you!
    Nei: Shabon!  Are you all right?
    Shabon: I'm okay.  This person came to my rescue.
    Nei: Well, thank you for helping Shabon.  I really appreciate it.
    Thomas: Oh, well, it was nothing....
    Nei: Yes... That's right, but...
    Thomas: ...?
    
    [Time passes]
    
    Thomas: A place to perform?
    Nei: Yes.  We're not able to make as much as we used to anywhere now.  We've
    been trying to find a good place to perform, but it's been difficult.
    Thomas: Would you like to come to Budehuc Castle?
    Nei: Budehuc Castle?  Let's see.  It may be worth going.  People do gather
    there, after all.  All right! We'll go to Budehuc Castle.  Thank you very much
    for telling us.
    
    [Nei, Shabon, and Toppo joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Augustine]
    
    Augustine: The world is beautiful.  .......  ......Don't you think?
    Thomas: Uh, yes.  Yes...  Um, do you like the sea?
    Augustine: I suppose.  I like things that are elegant and beautiful.
    Thomas: ......Huh...
    Augustine: ...It was fate that brought us together here.  I feel it.  And
    because
    of that, I'll show you my gorgeous rose broach.  ....This is my favorite rose
    broach.....  .......  Ack... it's gone!!!  I can't find it anywhere!!!  Noooo!!
    How
    could this happen?  Oh, cruel world, is there no justice in you?
    
    Augustine: Please, let me be alone while I try and deal with this calamity!
    .....Oh, how could I lose my rose broach like this...?
    
    [Present Rose brooch]
    
    Augustine: Eureka!  You found it!!  Thank you so much!  This is my rose broach,
    my pride and joy, my prize possession.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    How can I ever repay-Oh, come to think of it, did you call on me because you
    had some business with me?
    Thomas: ...Um, I'm actually trying to put a group together, and I'm looking for
    members...
    Augustine: Ah-haa!  Uh-huhhh!  I see!  Well, there's not much I can do to
    prevent people from wanting me near them.  I'm like a magnet.  No matter how I
    try to hide it, my precious aura shines through like a glowing rainbow...
    Thomas: Huh?
    Augustine: The way I stand, the way I walk, perfection from head to toe, with
    not a single wasted move...  You must agree, I just have an unbearably clean and
    artistic deportment.  And you recognized it.  I admire your taste.
    Thomas: Uh, well... Um...
    Augustine: I'll never be able to match your refined tastes, so you have one up
    on me...  Plus, I owe you for finding my rose broach, so I would be happy to
    join
    your group.
    Thomas: Oh, uh, thank you very much!
    Augustine: Oh!  I nearly forgot to introduce myself.  I'm Augustine Nabor.  My
    special features are my mustache, my rose broach-and, of course, my aura.  It's
    a pleasure to meet you.  By the way, where is your entourage?  I'm dying to
    meet them.
    Thomas: They're at Budehuc Castle.
    Augustine: Oh, yes, I've heard of Budehuc.  Well, see you later.  I look
    forward to meeting your people at the castle.
    
    [Augustine has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Dominic]
    
    Dominic: Well well, interested in my wares?  You obviously appreciate their
    artistic value.
    Thomas: I might be able to judge.
    Dominic: So... You say you know art.  That's something in itself.  For example,
    what do your eyes make of this Mole Armor?  Well?  It's my finest masterpiece!
    Are you reaching for your money?  Are you?  Or aren't you?
    Thomas: I'll purchase it.
    Dominic: You're a wise one, but your finances aren't consistent with your
    ambition.
    
    [Come back with the cash]
    
    Dominic: Two words: Mole Armor.  Ready to buy?
    Thomas: I'll purchase it.
    Dominic: A discerning patron always chooses the best!  I don't meet many people
    with such an eye for value!  Here you are, Mole Armor!
    
    [You purchased the armor, ugh there goes 40k potch]
    
    Dominic: I like you.  People of your kind are a bit easier to do business with.
    Thomas: Perhaps I could get you to come to Budehuc?  Many people come there to
    sell their wares...
    Dominic: Budehuc?  You don't say?  That sounds good!  Sounds fantastic,
    actually.  I don't want to sit in this dingy old shop until I wither and croak.
    It's decided!  You're my last customer here.
    Thomas: I hope this works out...
    
    [Dominic has joined the 108 stars.]
    
    [Recruit Jeane]
    
    Jeane: Ahhhhhh...  Welcome!
    Thomas: Oh, uh... Hello there.
    Jeane: What is it you desire?
    Thomas: Um, well... It's...
    Thomas: People at my castle would appreciate a rune sage.  Would you consider
    relocating?
    Jeane: Hmmm.  My spirit's gotten stagnant here.  This may be a good time for a
    change of scenery.
    Thomas: Why, thank you!  Budehuc is located...
    Jeane: Yes, Budehuc.  I know of it.  I look forward to the fun.  Aaahhh...
    Thomas: Fun... What do you call fun?
    
    [Jeane has joined the 108 Stars.]
    
    ------------------------------------------
    Legal stuffs, how to contact, etc. [ContLegal]
    ------------------------------------------
    
    This FAQ has been made by randomweirdo.  Permission is granted for its posting
    on GameFAQs.  Other sites may link to it on there without permission.  I will
    not grant permission for it to be posted on other sites because I do not wish
    to keep track of it on more than one site.
    
    A download does exist for it in a doc format, it is uploaded to fileden.
    Please do not post this link elsewhere without permission as it does have
    limited download bandwidth.  It was mostly only available to give access to the
    incomplete version.  Please do not download this version and upload it
    elsewhere.  The only way I'll allow it posted on another site is if I post a
    link myself or if you link to the version on GameFAQs.  This is mostly to
    ensure the dialogue is as accurate as possible and the most up to date version
    is posted.
    
    Suikoden III and the Suikoden series and all characters and the dialogue itself
    is copyrighted to Konami.  As stated in the beginning, this is not meant to
    replace the game itself, only to serve as an addition to playing the game.  I
    highly recommend that anyone who is interested in the game please obtain a
    legal copy of it if you can.  I highly recommend Ebay if you cannot find it at
    a local store because I know it isn't the easiest game in the series to find.
    
    I may be contacted via email at randomweirdo.faqs at gmail dot com.  Asking
    questions on the message board for the game is not the best way to reach me
    because I rarely go look at it.  It would be appreciated if you put "Suikoden
    III script" in the subject line of your e-mail so I know the message is not
    spam.
    
    Please do not contact me asking for permission to post this elsewhere.  Also
    please do not spam me or send me advertisements.  What I do wish to be
    contacted about is if you notice any typos or errors or if you wish to submit
    transcribed scenes that I do not have to be included in the next version.  If
    you wish to submit a scene, please tell me how you wish to be credited so I can
    give credit where it is due.  You have my thanks in advance if you do submit a
    scene because even the smallest thing means less for me to do on my own.
    Suggestions to make this better or more readable are also welcome.  I admit I'm
    not the most experienced contributor out there so I do welcome tips!
    
    Also, please do not contact me about what is missing or when this will be
    finished.  I cannot guarantee it ever will be finished to be honest, and
    nagging me to finish it will only discourage me from doing so.  I may love the
    game, but I can only take so many playthroughs in a row before I need a break.
    
    And lastly, do not contact me asking for help with the game or for opinions on
    the game.  I may have played it numerous times, but I'm not the best player at
    the game, which is why I'm submitting a script and not a walkthrough.  I advise
    that you check out one of the walkthroughs submitted already.  I personally
    recommend dan crenshw's walkthrough which I used to help me with my own
    playthrough or else I likely wouldn't have been able to even get Luc's chapter
    or even finish the game.
    
    Skills:
    Yuber:
    A - Heavy Damage
    A - Swing
    S - Accuracy
    B+ - Damage
    A - Repel
    B - Lightning magic
    
    Sarah:
    S - Pale Gate magic
    A- Precision
    B- Repel
    A - Fire magic
    S - Water magic
    A - Magic resistance
    
    Luc:
    A - Pale Gate Magic
    S - Focus
    B+ - Repel
    B - Water Magic
    A+ - Wind Magic
    A - Magic Resistance
    
    
    

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