Trials of the Valiant Chapter 21
By The RPGenius
Gurfastus, the Knight who had been left in charge of Duegran's men outside the cave, was getting a little nervous. Why hadn't Duegran come back yet? Surely the executions couldn't take this long?
Gurfastus paced back and forth within the camp. As he passed by a large boulder, his sharp ears heard a low, angry wark of a chocobo from behind the rock. Then, a bit louder, someone shushing it.
The Knight, knowing better than to take chances when the slight possibility that his enemies had escaped existed, rushed over to the three Ninjas under his command. "You three, there's someone behind that rock. Sneak up on them and capture them!"
Obedient if confused, they moved quietly and quickly toward the rock. Before they got there, though, Alma Beoulve dashed out on a chocobo and began running away, no doubt having seen that she had been discovered.
Gurfastus shouted to his surprised Ninjas, "Well, don't just stand there, you fools! Go after them!"
Confused, one Ninja asked, "How are we supposed to catch up to a chocobo?"
"Fool, didn't you see that it had a limp? You'll be able to catch it easily! Now, GO!" he shouted impatiently.
The Ninjas ran off in pursuit as Gurfastus allowed himself a small smile. Whatever she might have been planning, it was ruined now.
* * *
Ramza woke to something sharp poking his back. Still mostly asleep, he simply mumbled, "Boco, it can't be breakfast yet..."
He felt another, more determined prod, and awakened to a semi-conscious state. "Agrias, let me sleep and stop poking me with your sword!"
This time, the jab was definitely not gentle. Fully awake, he turned over, saying, "Okay, okay! I'm up, I'm--huh?"
He was surrounded by spears. Looking beyond the crude-but-efficient blades of them, he saw that he was surrounded by strange little creatures. They were covered in short, whitish-fur ranging in shades from beige to newly fallen snow. Their beady little eyes resembled black marbles. They had small, pink, bat-like wings attached to their backs, though Ramza doubted that these wings could hold their owners aloft for any extended amount of time. Each one came up to about Ramza's waist.
He saw that Agrias was in a similar position. She looked extremely angry, and Ramza knew that any minute she was likely to begin laying waste to these small things.
"Wait, Agrias. They haven't done anything yet, and they outnumber us twenty to one. Maybe we should see what they want." He turned to one of them. "Hello. I don't know if we've offended you in some way, but--"
"Kupo! Kupo kupoho kupog!" one of them shouted, pointing his spear from Ramza to Agrias.
"Do...any of you speak my language?" Ramza asked.
One of them, apparently the leader, prodded Ramza with his spear. "Kupa kupopo! Kupo!"
Ramza couldn't understand the words, but it was fairly obvious from the spear motions that the little things wanted him to march somewhere. He and Agrias began to walk. Ramza noticed that their small captors were having trouble moving Worker 8. Hey had tied many ropes around him and were trying to drag him along.
Needless to say, they were showing little success.
Ramza decided to help them out (mostly because, wherever he was going to be lead, he wanted Worker 8 there with him). "Worker 8! Follow me!"
Worker 8 began to stride forward. The little creatures pointed their spears threateningly at him, though the robot paid them no heed. Seeing he wasn't attacking, the creatures relaxed a little. A very little.
Having done that, Ramza was curious that that his captors were leading him to the back wall of the room, rather than the only visible exit, the way he had come in.
The small leader went up to one of the walls and hit it three times. He proceeded to say, "Kupo kupa kupoo!"
The wall seemed to open up before Ramza's eyes, revealing that the 'wall' was no more than an artificial illusion masking its actual identity: that of a large door.
* * *
Boco thought he had way too hard a part in this plan. He had to run just slow enough to allow the Ninjas to keep up, but just fast enough to stay out of range of their throwing weapons. On top of that, he had to pretend to have a limp, and then lure the Ninjas into a pit of quicksand without actually falling in himself. That was an awful lot to expect from one chocobo!
Still, this plan was a good one. While Boco and Alma lured the Ninja's away, the rest of their allies would attack the rest of their foes outside the cave. Without the Ninjas there, they would have a much better chance to achieve victory. Still, a fight against a score of foes would not be easy.
"There are the quicksand pits, Boco! Be careful!" Alma shouted.
Boco warked an affirmative. Gathering his strength, he leapt straight over the quicksand pit. It wasn't easy, but he managed to clear it (thank goodness Mistress Alma didn't wear all the heavy armor that Master Ramza did!). Landing, though, was a problem. Normally, he would be able to land fairly well, but his passenger threw off his balance and landing calculations.
As a result, Boco went sprawling head-over-heels on the ground, accidentally throwing Mistress Alma off his back. Boco realized that this was actually beneficial to the plan--his enemies would think that the limp had caused the bad landing and that they now had they prey where they wanted them.
Mistress Alma and Boco watched the Ninjas run into the quicksand and slowly disappear within the muck.
After a moment of silence for her fallen foes, Mistress Alma said resolutely, "Well, that worked well. Come on, let's go join the others."
Boco ran off with Mistress Alma on his back toward the camp.
* * *
Gurfastus was confused and panicked. Practically moments after his Ninjas had left to pursue Alma Beoulve, her allies had descended in a destructive wave on his forces, creating confusion and chaos as they decimated their unprepared foes. Where had they come from? How had they managed to escape Duegran, and where was he now? Surely they couldn't have defeated him?
Gurfastus did not have much time to ponder these questions, though, for he suddenly found himself on the receiving end of Vantan's Crush Punch...
Final Fantasy Tactics Fanfic