Rescuing the bracelet. Who cares about it? They're so Thracia 776.
I encourage all thief fans to read on, enjoy, and comment.
Chapter 3: Who Names Their Kid Bazba?
Eirika and company pursue the thief who stole her bracelet…I mean, the thief who SHE gave the bracelet to. The thief chase leads them into the mountains, where Bazba's Bandits pillage at will without a king telling them not to, like little children. Eirika cannot ignore her countrymen's pleas for help, as those same pleas become rather annoying after listening to them for a while. Oh, please, you would feel pissed if they woke you up during your sleep! She leads her group in search of the bandit's stronghold to claim the bracelet that holds secrets that weren't told to her from the beginning. Bad parenting, anyone?
Seth, Eirika, and their band of ragtag bunch of misfits were stationed in a forest. The Paladin had news to tell. "A few of the villagers saw a lad matching the description of our bracelet thief," he said, holding a crude-looking wanted poster with Colm on it. It had a description on it.
*Has a nice-looking ear piercing
*Looks kinda hot, for a thief, anyway
*Has unnatural blue hair
"It seems a fair guess that the youth is one of these bandits," Seth said, putting the poster away. His horse ate it.
Eirika sighed. "The bandit influx was nicely controlled when your battalion was alive…but their refusal to surpass your skills with the many Master Seals we had at the vault only led to the enemy using those very same items to gain more stats," she explained. "I'm reconsidering a crucial fact here… Seth, you WILL continue to grow stronger after the enemies catch up with your impossibly kewl stats."
The team arched eyebrows at the order. Wasn't she going to say otherwise?
"Those Master Seals are valuable!" she added. "But if we can hope to rebuild the army with more soldiers, you can try to make them reach level 20!"
Ross grimaced. "Don't you hate how those Path of Radiance bastards get to Class Change when they hit level 20? I smell favoritism! We need those Master Seals more than they do!" he said. "It's so fishy we're stuck with the wonders of level grinding without even using them to the fullest!" The group had to admit Ross was smart when he had to.
"Too bad Ike was born with the anti-Master Seal curse, though. Imagine how painful it is to wait for you to get promoted!" Eirika pointed out, making the party laugh for a moment while Ike sulked, having to wait at the end of a late chapter to promote himself by the help of, ugh, a noble.
Gilliam stopped laughing. "Uh, don't you and your brother suffer from that too?" he asked.
"Gilliam, I can continue my vendetta on you any time."
"I'll be quiet."
"Good bearded boy."
Franz then noticed there was a girl mixed up in their small congregation. "Uh... Hello?" she shyly asked.
"Look! A stray girl!" Garcia said. "But wait, she has unnatural pink hair! By all means, she's somehow important!"
"T-thank you, my mom told me I'd be important if I grew pink hair, and she told me this before I grew some!" she said. "Oh! Um, are you all some sort of...mercenary troop? Usually, mercenary troops do look…unique?" She knew very well it was a rare chance to have a Pegasus knight working for mercenaries. And the girl that gave a royal air gave her some second thoughts. "I'm Neimi. I'm from... I used to be from a village named Lark... Except the village is gone."
Franz gasped. "It disappeared?"
Moulder gasped. "It blew up into the air?"
Eirika gasped. "It VANISHED?!"
Vanessa gasped. "It grew legs and walked away?" She was given some weird looks. "Oh, you people! As if Eirika's assumption wasn't as crazy as mine!"
"What in th- No!" Neimi said, quite angry. "Bazba's Bandits burned it down…by simply stepping one foot inside! It was…morbid and…weird, just like the other villages nearby! I luckily was outside with my brother Colm, but he…that guy…he…uh…he…ah…he…" Franz shook her a bit. "He went into their hideout! He went to steal back something the bandits took from me..."
"What was that?" Seth asked with profound interest.
"Aww, tell me! We're dying of suspense!" he said. The party was dying of suspense.
"N-no! Stop it before I think less about you all!" Neimi said flustered. Her eyes swelled up with tears. "If I lose Colm, too, I don't know... I...I'll... sniff..."
Moulder pointed at her. "Stop her crying before innocent bystanders think we're scum!" he ordered. An incestuous pair of villagers that didn't know who Eirika was passed by and looked at them with extreme disgust before walking away, holding hands together. "Dammit!"
"We'll find your friend and see that he's not harmed!" Eirika shouted.
Neimi composed herself in record time. "Really? Really and truly? Oh, thank you! Thank you! I don't have much money, bu-"
"Too long, did not listen," Seth said. The party walked away from the bewildered pink-haired girl.
"For the love of… I'm a very good archer!" Neimi shouted, taking out a bow from hammerspace. "My constant crying has given me broken accuracy skills! I, uh, can help you! PLEASE! I don't have fangirls chasing after me like Prince Innes of Frelia!"
The party walked back faster than they tried to leave her behind. "Alright, we'll bite," Eirika said. Neimi yay'd. "You are a citizen of Renais, after all. And isn't it our duty to defend our countrymen? I'm only sad that we weren't here to protect her friends and neighbors..."
"They're pretty forgettable, though," Neimi bluntly added.
"If they didn't have some extra rare items, never mind, then! No use crying over spilled alcoholic milk!"
"But your funny way to talk like that…"
Eirika narrowed her eyes. "Hey, you don't know who I am?" she asked.
"You're a citizen of Renais, yet you don't know your OWN princess?"
"Oopsie? I've been training too much with my grandfather that I lost track of time," Neimi said blushing. "Do you know him? He was a real good archer back in the day."
"Screw you both. Hard. Now, lead us to the bandit's hideout!" she ordered. "Seth! Stand behind me so I don't get surprise buttsecks. Anybody else feeling quite weak all of a sudden, get somebody to watch your butts! There's no telling if the men in there are not completely heterosexual!"
And so the crybaby archer (Neimi: Hey!) led them into the bandit's hideout. Needless to say, there was no door in the front entrance. The inside did have doors. "They have looted treasure, yet they leave the front door of their base open?"
"Fridge logic," Moulder began, "anybody who isn't us, has an important background, or the enemy can't even do the job. I bet that if Franz here lived in the mountains, nobody would enter his door-less house." Franz felt weak, having been used as a guinea pig for an explanation.
Although they had discretely entered the hideout, the bandit leader Bazba heard them, the physical laws not applying to the three to four walls that blocked his view and hearing. "Hm. Not sure who's out there, but it looks like we've got guests. Let's give 'em a warm welcome, lads. You see a stranger, stick an axe in him…or her, in the middle of their face!" Ross shivered.
"We're not strangers!" Gilliam shouted. "We're fellow shady thieves like you!"
"Pah! From what I can tell from my seat that I do NOT plan to leave, you look way to clean to look shady! …Okay, the knight you have does look shady, but that's it!"
Vanessa was wondering how the hell the bandit knew they had a knight when said knight, outraged, said, "I'm so sticking my lance up you-!"
"WHOA THERE! We don't need that level of graphic detail!" Eirika said. And the battle started!
The party found it so fun to wreck two walls that were weak against their attacks. How a bow could do such damage to them was a topic worth looking into another day, but Neimi sniffed sadly, wishing to find her lost best friend as soon as possible.
One turn later, Colm showed up right next to them down the small hall with a big grin on his face. "And here we go! Ha! And not a soul saw me. These bandits are easy picking when they stupidly have their entrances wide open. Seriously! It's like they're asking everybody to be a thief!" He went to unlock a door. "I guess I might as well start with these chests here, escape, and troll the good guys from getting the goodies like every non-affiliated thief appears suddenly. Mwahahaha, I'm so smart."
Neimi peeked out from the corner.
"We have no home and yet you leave me behind? Meanie!" Neimi scolded loudly, so loudly that the entire "mercenary" group stopped blasting the walls to smithereens to see some drama.
"I can take care of it in a flash, but I don't need a clumsy oaf like you tagging along," Colm said. The party standing behind Neimi gasped, the latter shedding tears of complete sadness. Franz and Garcia sniffed manly and traded napkins. "Stupid peanut gallery! Oh, this is ridiculous. Don't leave my side, Neimi." Neimi yay'd. The others did too.
"By the way, we haven't forgotten what you did," Seth said.
Colm recognized the group. "She didn't want it!" he complained. "In fact, she told me to pick it up!"
"Nope! Didn't say a thing like that," Eirika said. Her party narrowed their eyes at Colm. "I used it to defend myself from getting abused against my will."
"You unnatural, blue-haired woman! I'm not into THAT!"
Neimi nodded. "Yup, he's not a r-rapist," she said.
Colm sighed in relief and gave Eirika back her bracelet. "Everybody's into ear piercings, anyway," he muttered.
"Aww, true dat," Gilliam agreed.
"Good, you have unofficially joined our group, judging your change from green to blue from top view," Eirika said. "I guess there's no point moving forward to face Bazba!"
Seth disapproved. "Sorry, princess, but until we seize that bandit's seat, we are not to leave from this dinky place. We are, how you say, locked in this map," he said. "Also, you have come up with a resolve: eliminate all potential unhappy rapist husbands that leave women with babies they don't want to raise themselves."
"Stupid gameplay! Fine! Kill anybody who's red from top view!" Eirika said. Her intrepid team cheered. "But we've got some unfinished business to do…" They went back to smacking the walls in complete glee. They thought it was a convenient form of cheating by making a shortcut through a place they didn't own.
A while later, Colm was ordered to open chests. "Mwahahaha, all the chests are mine for the taking," he said.
"Nope!" Moulder used the Trade command, forcing Colm's inventory to relieve him from the goodies. "Thanks, I'll carry these till we finish."
"Not fair, dude with the epic mustache!" Colm complained. "Using Trade to…trade items between us against my own will. That's heinous!"
"No, that's strategic thinking that encourages conservation and the trade of unwanted luggage," Moulder explained. "I carry your weight. Praise me."
"You heard the soon-to-be sexy bishop. Praise him!" Franz told Colm. The thief grunted and praised the soon-to-be sexy bishop.
After blazing through Bazba's bandits and losing Ross in the process…
"…Wait, WHAT?" Eirika asked, doing a double take. "Ross vanished?"
"Yup, got an axe into his face…again," Vanessa said. "It looked more morbid if you were standing right next to him."
Before Eirika could even restart, Garcia got into a fit of rage and went to fight Bazba. Needless to say, Garcia got killed. They all did a collective grunt together.
"Yet another reason why restarting is strongly encouraged," Seth said chuckling. "Oh wait, I worshipped the Great Garcia before. Nooooooo, why did he die and not me?" Franz yelped at the thought, and everyone restarted.
And thus the group restarted, having to go through the previous events once more. "Don't say anything, we'll help," Eirika told the crying Neimi.
"Blast walls, don't stop," Gilliam gleefully said, and nobody wanted to disagree.
"Don't cry, stay close to me," Colm told a happy Neimi.
"Trading is fun, die for me in battle in a figurative sense," Moulder told Colm.
"Don't you die, or else I'll kill you both with Seth. That's right, I'll kill you again if you get killed!" Eirika told a pale Ross and pale Garcia.
"They died again, we need to restart, you can't kill them again since they're dead," Seth said, restarting the game before Eirika could finish the F word.
The party finally made it to Bazba. The boss theme played as he got the spotlight, facing off with Eirika. "I'm the head of this bandit pack, the mighty Bazba!" he announced to the lot of enemies surrounding his seat.
"Pfft, Bazba? Really?" Eirika asked. "Who names their kid Bazba?" she asked to her group, all of them snickering.
"S-shut up, it's awesome!" Bazba called out, reminiscing about his parents coming up with his awesome name.
"What should we name him?" Bazba's mother asked.
Her drunk husband said, "Bazba! Sounds tough! Now go fetch me some beer, woman!"
Back in the present, Bazba sniffed a villain tear. "Dad was never a good Dad. Shouldn't have killed 'em when I got an axe on my teenage hands. I told me I would turn sexy, but then my Dad spit at my face and that made me kill 'em! Cute boys in these games turn into gods of sexyness, y'know?"
"Your hideous face is hideous!" Eirika responded with a Critical Hit'd him twice, killing him.
"How in the hell do you manage to defeat all the bosses we've encountered with TWO lucky critical hits?" Gilliam asked.
"Luck's on my side? Besides that, hurray! We have claimed the hideout for ourselves!" Eirika cheered. "Eww, it stinks. Let's leave." Seth told Eirika to sit down on Bazba's smelly chair to end the chapter, but she discouraged the thought and sat down in front of it instead. Garcia wanted to point out that the game wouldn't buy it, but it did, much to his shock.
A sniffing Neimi approached Colm. "What now? I told you not to worry. I could have robbed these bandits blind on my own, thank you very much," he bragged.
"Silly hot thief," Vanessa said. "Your perfect accuracy would've been crippled."
"Oh, I can steal anything from you without using my eyes."
"Like my virginity?"
"Yeah, like your virgin-HEY! Not cool," Colm said grumbling till he noticed Neimi about to bawl her eyes out. "H-Hold on! I'm sorry! C'mon! Don't start bawling!"
"Aaah...sniff...No more...dangerous stuff...by yourself..." Neimi muttered. Moulder deviously chuckled, coming up with so many plans to make Colm his thief slave. Nobody was going to complain about this, since anything in Moulder's hands would be put to good use. In fact, they were envious.
"Fine, fine. I promise. But you have to stop crying all the time. All right?
"I-impossible, my character would be flat otherwise," Neimi said.
Colm cursed his luck and showed Neimi a mirror. "Oh, yeah. Take a look at this. I got your mirror back. Remember how you cried when we left Lark, which was obliterated from existence? You thought you'd lost this. I knew it was your mother's, and I knew those thugs had taken it. So I went and got it back! See what happens when you give me a job? Guaranteed results!" he bragged. The peanut gallery rolled their eyes in unison.
"Colm..." Neimi trailed off before she started crying.
Franz took a look. "Oops, it's broken," he said. Colm punched him away.
"Aw, shucks. Musta broken in during the fight," Colm said. "Well, no use crying over spilled alcoholic milk! At least I got it back for you so that's what matters!" He smiled. "Aww, it feels good to use the common thoughtful sense."
"N-no!" Neimi said angrily. Eirika finally looked their way. "I…I will restart the fight and keep it safe!" She opened the menu, causing a collective amount of shocked gasps from the group.
"…Neimi…what are you doing?" Colm asked, sweating as Neimi hovered the option of suspending the game. From there, she would restart.
Ross gasped. "Stop that girl! I got one extra stat for every stat on my list on a single level up!" he pointed out before he ran over to the cracked wall. "It's a very rare event that a unit gets all their stats buffed up in on-"
Many disgruntled sounds came from all of them after noticing Neimi had restarted the battle. "Well, to be fair, I didn't get a single stinking stat after I beat Bazba," Eirika said.
After recruiting Colm and having delivered the final blow on some bandits, Ross leveled up. He showed up next to his stat screen, but after his level digit went up, a second of silence made him groan. "Dammit!" he cursed and left the screen. Moulder then healed him once and got all his stats leveled up. "Oh, come on!"
The group huddled up around Bazba and his chair. "You guys don't even give a damn about us bosses when we die and then come back to life just to get killed again?" he asked annoyed. "We see where we end up only to get pulled back into the game!"
"That is right. We do not care about filthy scum like you," Moulder bluntly said. "Eirika, Critical Hit him twice!"
"At your orders, our pre-sexy Bishop," Eirika said, Critical Hitting Bazba twice.
Colm showed Neimi her broken mirror. "Now I know you feel really sad right now, but it's not a good reason to make everybody go into the map again," he said as he entered from the left side of the map, spotting Bazba's thieves around the perimeter after opening a door. "It's the thoughtful feeling that… Oh, dammit!"
By that point, Eirika's band finally got the message and tied Neimi onto Seth's horse. Bazba was brutally murdered with two Critical Hits from Eirika as always (Franz still was puzzled how she managed to get all those frequently) and Colm showed the tied Neimi her perfectly good mirror.
"Oh, would you look at that! The mirror is not even broken!" Colm said sighing. Neimi yay'd and was untied. She hastily grabbed her mirror and let it fall down by accident, breaking it. "Okay, that's it! It was your fault this time, not mine!" he said as he opened a door, spotting Bazba's bandits. Since Neimi was untied, there was no outside force preventing her from restarting again. "AAAAAAAAAAAH!"
Moulder, fed up with the insanity, walked over to Colm and rummaged his pockets to find the damned mirror. He found it perfectly intact and kept it in the convoy, turning it into a measly item that only took space. "Some options NEED to be taken to get rid of unneeded results," he said.
Bazba sighed in boredom as everybody rounded his chair. "Kill me already," he said and thus was given his wish.
Seth felt that it was needed to give Colm a lecture while Neimi stood close. "If this girl matters to you, you must quit this dark road," he said. "…Outside of gameplay, I mean. You guys are awesome, keeping us stocked with stolen Vulnerarys!"
" Um, yeah... Right," Colm said, sweat-dropping. He saw them all leaving both behind to fend off for themselves. "Hey, wait! Let us go with you. You can't just leave us here. We're still too young without adult supervision!"
"Oh yeah, their home DISAPPEARED for real," Vanessa noted.
"You just wait. I promise you won't regret your decision," Colm said grinning. "If we constantly support with each other, Neimi and I will end up having archer-thief hybrid children!"
"That is SO not possible," Eirika said. "But it's worth the try! Just think about an archer that can do two jobs at the same time. That will surely give a lot of repercussions to my country, but it sounds so good! Alright, you two are in." Colm and Neimi yay'd.
After leaving the dinky hideout, Eirika got her bracelet back. She looked at Seth with such venom it scared Gilliam.
"Seth... What is it you're not telling me? I feel that I finally must know what secret you and my father have been hiding from me ever since I was given birth," she said.
"Too early," Seth said. The entire party groaned loudly.
"Fine! I'll let you keep that handsome head of yours. Don't complain if you find yourself standing somewhere else!" She turned to her company. "Moulder, everybody else that doesn't reach my level, to my brother!"
Miles away (in actual real life terms) from there, Grado Castle was having an audience with its main three jeweled generals; the ones that had some respectable amount of common sense in their minds unlike the rest of the red mooks. The one with the most common sense, Duessel, spoke to Selena and Glen. Whether it was a custom to ride the castle halls with their horses and a freaking wyvern was a very enlightening topic for another day. "Selena. Tell me, how fares the campaign in Renais?" he asked.
"Signs of chaos abound," she said. "Homes are destroyed, women are kidnapped, and possessions are stolen. BTW, the last two points are not us. It's the massive bandit influx."
"Perhaps, just this once, I should take the lead," Duessel wondered aloud. "Grado doesn't even enforce public safety. You two know I can do that with my eyes closed." The two agreed.
"What could His Majesty be thinking?" Glen asked. "Breaking our long-held alliance with Renais, invading without warning... He's never been this way before. He abhors violence. It's as if he was possessed!" Selena considered the option, but she thought it was so improbable she would blindly follow the man that helped her home. "And have you noticed the recent promotions? Fishy, I tell you, fishy! I feel as though His Majesty is no longer the man we knew him to be."
Selena quietly laughed. "Oh, silly Glen. Our Majesty is still the same person we know," she said.
"Selena," Duessel began, shifting his eyes, "he is waging war all of a sudden. He is not the same."
"Uh… He's still an honorable man!"
"I know he helped your hometown, but you need to have some common sense," Glen said. "Why, if you keep that up, you'll be killed someday, and many will grieve your loss."
The three with common sense (Selena was slowly straying away from that) were then summoned to the throne room where Emperor Vigarde and his loyal son Lyon. Emperor Vigarde looked unusually pale for their tastes with the suspicious decaying skin around his cheeks. "I appreciate your work in fulfilling your previous orders. You are the hammers that drive the nails of the empire's will... You will continue to operate...without hesitation...wherever I send you." There was an unusual pause during the "without hesitation" part, but they didn't want to call him out on it.
But they were tempted to call him out once his right eyeball popped out from his eye socket and fell onto the floor.
"Oops!" Lyon quickly scooped the eyeball and put it back on his father's eye socket. Duessel, Selena, and Glen were all completely disgusted and freaked out. Glen's wyvern was lamenting how it didn't eat it.
"What the HELL was that just now?" Glen asked the golden question.
"Oh, no worries," Lyon said quite exasperated. He wasn't thinking straight when he said, "My father has some weird disease right now, but our top healers are doing their best to bring him back to life through dark magic."
"What?" Selena asked.
"Oopsie! I mean, cure his eye-popping disease. Ignore me! I have absolutely no speaking role in this scene. I'm just standing here to make sure my father works properly." He had another completely different meaning to the last two words he said.
Vigarde cleared his throat, which led to a coughing fit that made Lyon all sweaty on the face. "However, I know this...You, my Imperial Three, lack the strength to conquer the remaining nations alone," he said.
"Your Majesty, we're all promoted units, and we actually have face portraits!" Selena said.
"Three promoted units with face portraits are not enough. In the invasion of Renais, certain soldiers performed beyond expectation. I have chosen them to join you as new generals in the empire's service. ...Come."
There was an unusual air of evilness polluting the hall once Valter, Riev, and Caellach entered. The fact another wyvern rode into the hall was not complained about. "Well, no kidding. All of them are promoted units with face portraits," Glen said.
"The performance of these men surpassed even your own." Duessel mentally said ********. "With the addition of these three... The empire will have six generals strong enough to conquer this land. Do you understand?"
The creepy one, Riev, chuckled unusually darkly. "Heh heh heh... I am Riev, given the name
Blood Beryl by His Majesty. I know I am a newcomer, but I pray for your favor," he told Duessel, who was not going to pray him for anything. He randomly bowed to Lyon, but was it really random? HMMMMMM?
The HERO Caellach approached Selena rather suggestively. "I'm Caellach. I was a mercenary, fighting in the desert with this best friend of mine who stole a valuable possession from my head. Seems I'm to be called Tiger Eye... You're a fine lookin' lass, aren't you? Yeah, I'm gonna love working with you," he winked and growled like a tiger. Selena carefully kept her distance.
The blood-seeking Valter approached Glen. Valter's wyvern chuckled at Glen's wyvern, who looked away. "You know me as General Valter, but you will call me the Moonstone. Sorry, I'm taking your spot for greatest wyvern knight of Grado."
"Valter, you scum!" Glen cursed. Duessel tried to intervene, but Valter's bloodthirsty wyvern shooed him away.
After being assigned their positions, Vigarde's head casually rolled down to the floor. Glen, Duessel, and Selena (who had fainted along with her horse) were extremely, morbidly, freakily disgusted. Valter, Caellach, and Riev all sweated bullets as Lyon put Vigarde's head back on his neck. It was backwards, and Lyon noticed too late before spinning it back to its position.
"MOVE ALONG. NOTHING TO SEE HERE," Lyon shooed all of them away. As Caellach used whatever Herculean force to carry Selena and her horse away, nobody saw the emperor's chin fall down. They didn't hear Lyon's voice suddenly grumbling deeply in anger.
Yes… There's a lot of insanity left…
Please review, or else Vigarde's very intimate body part will break.