Trials of the Valiant Chapter 16

By The RPGenius

Byblos was having problems. This idiot chocobo didn't seem to have a single intelligent thought in its empty head.

"(Master Ramza! Mistress Alma! We have to go back and save them!)" he warked, idiotically running around in circles.

Byblos growled out a response in Chocobo tongue that was, by his standards, polite. "(You moron, how much of a chance do you think we'd have against all those foes!? None! It ought to be obvious, even to you, you bird-brained buffoon!)"

Boco, ignoring his words, continued to run frantically in circles, warking loudly.

Byblos began to lose his temper. This time, he spoke in the human language. "All we have to do is bide our time and--"

He stopped when he realized the stupid bird wasn't listening. Honestly, he had given up a high position under Lucavi for this? Working with chocobos? Byblos almost wished he were still with Lucavi's bunch. At least Zodiac Monsters and demons had been intelligent enough to hold a conversation with.

No, that was a lie. He didn't wish he were back there. He had left for good reasons, and he owed Ramza a lot for saving him from Elidibs and the rest of the demonic forces pursuing him. He owed Ramza his life, and he planned to pay that debt off.

But this idiot bird wasn't helping him pay it off any faster.

Byblos tried for a few minutes to converse with Boco. Then, all shreds of patience lost to him, he hit Boco over the head. That got the thick-skulled turkey to listen.

"Now, as I was saying," Byblos growled in human tongue, "All we have to do is bide our time until the right moment to strike! I want to save Ramza's friends just as much as you, but we need to plan this carefully! Now, is that plan okay, or is it too complex for your pathetic excuse for a mind?"

Boco warked indignantly and pecked Byblos. "Good. Glad you understand," Byblos muttered.

* * *

Ramza, Agrias, and Worker 8 had spent the last hour or so stumbling around the cave, trying to find a way out. There had been quite a lot of small battles with sentries of Syldreth's in the cave, but all had ended in victory so far.

Agrias was in a bad mood. Every time they had gotten in a fight, Ramza afterwards would insist that they rest before going on. Agrias knew that he was concerned for her, but such concern just irritated her. How were they ever going to get out if they stopped every time she got short of breath?

Not that she was ungrateful. His concern was touching, and she did appreciate it. She just felt that it wasn't efficient to spend so much time resting, and she instinctively preferred to be the protector, rather than someone else worry about her.

Agrias suddenly felt a sharp pain in her side. Wincing, she looked down and saw that her wound had re-opened and was beginning to bleed again. She gritted her teeth and continued to walk. If she told Ramza, he'd just get worried and insist that she rest again, which wasn't going to help for this.

Ten minutes later, she collapsed.

* * *

Ramza looked over at Agrias just as she collapsed. He rushed over and kneeled down next to her. He saw that her side wound had opened again.

"Agrias! Are you okay?!" he asked.

Her eyes fluttered open. "Uh...oh, hi Ramza," she said weakly. "I guess I must have tripped on something--"

Ramza interrupted. "No, you didn't, you're hurt! Now lie there for a while, and don't bother to argue!"

He looked through his bags again, trying to find a potion of some sort that he had overlooked the last time.

Suddenly, he had an idea. Turning to Worker 8, he asked, "Worker 8, you wouldn't happen to have some sort of healing program or something, would you?"

Worker 8 turned towards Ramza. "Yes, I am equipped with such a program, Master," he replied.

Ramza looked at the robot, slightly annoyed. "Well, why didn't you say anything about it before?" he asked.

"You have never inquired about it before, Master," came the reply.

Ramza sighed in frustration. Sometimes Worker 8's lack of initiative and thought made him very annoying. "Well, would you use your healing methods on Agrias, please?"

"Affirmative." Worker 8 ambled over to Agrias,. His eyes changed to green, and a soft glow emanated from them. "Preliminary scans indicate a need for approximately eight hours of healing."

Agrias tried to sit up to protest. "Ramza, we don't have time for this. What if some more of Syldreth's soldiers come while I'm helpless and Worker 8 is busy healing me? They'll probably overwhelm you, and I'll be in no position to help you. I'm fine, really."

Ramza could not help but smile slightly at this. "Agrias, you are in no condition to help me anyway. Now please, settle down and rest. See if you can get some sleep; you'll need to be in good condition when Worker 8's done."

Worker 8's eyes shined, and a green light emanated from them onto Agrias.

Agrias sighed a bit reluctantly, but Worker 8's healing program seemed to make her sleepy anyway, so Ramza received little real argument about it. "Okay, Ramza. But wake me up if you get into a fight!"

Ramza smiled in spite of himself. "Okay. Have a nice sleep." He got up, but Agrias continued talking. Murmuring more than talking, really. Ramza had the feeling that she had little idea that she was even still awake.

"I'm sorry if I've been hard to get along with, Ramza...really do...appreciate...your...concern..." With that, she began lightly snoring.

Ramza yawned. He would have liked to be sleeping, too, but he had to stay on alert in case of attack. He had his duty to protect Agrias while she rested, just as it was his duty to protect all his friends. However, he suddenly felt like there was...more...than just duty this time. A little like the way he felt when he was protecting Alma...

He shook his head. He was probably just tired, that was it. He wondered what time it was. Perhaps it was nighttime.

He wondered if Alma and his friends were okay. He didn't know if they could have taken all the enemies who had ambushed them. He was really worried about his friends...


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