Forgive the lateness of this letter and also forgive my lack of ability in its composition. I am not accustomed to this means of communication, but it has been far too long, and I am afraid that our paths will not meet any time in the near future. I am sure that it was a great shock to learn of our survival. When the Bahamut fell, we managed to survive, but we were in no condition to do much but let our bodies heal for a good long while.
Of course it was my partner's insistence that we commit our grand theft of the Strahl. He felt that such a reemergence on the scene would be all the more…entertaining, I suppose. I was against this, preferring that you and the Princess and our friends know as soon as possible of our little cheating of death. But has it been nearly a year already? As for myself and Balthier, we are in Bervenia in search of what my partner considers "a greater treasure." I should think this is an inside joke he shares with the Princess. We regretfully have yet to uncover this treasure.
Again, I lack the ability to express myself in such a manner as letter writing. Please excuse the shortness of this missive. I await word of your doings in Archades and how the young Lord Larsa fares.
P.S. Balthier sends his best wishes. He mentioned that you still owe him for the card game that evening in Balfonheim. I would advise you to pay him as soon as possible. He can be a real nuisance when someone owes him money.
I cannot express how gratifying it is to hear that both you and Balthier are alive…and back to treasure hunting already! I must admit my utter surprise at these developments, and when Penelo's letter arrived, I was convinced it was a cruel trick. But this letter arrived from you, and it brought such joy to both myself and Lord Larsa.
As for life in Archades, our efforts are progressing. The first few months after the Bahamut were a bit of a strain on the young man, but he is truly wise beyond his years. We have managed to reinstate the Senate to their full authority, but we are working to wipe out the corruption that guided its decisions in the past. Luckily enough, I do not deal so much with politics personally. Lord Larsa has given me a bit of free will over the military might of Archadia, and we are slowly reducing the size of our forces. I have always had a mind for tactics rather than politics anyhow.
It has been over a week since your letter was sent, so I wonder if you and Balthier have stumbled upon any spoils in Bervenia yet? I would of course advise you to obtain any clearances to search through the ruins there, but I feel that my words will fall on deaf ears. No offense meant, of course! As for your partner's request, I would ask you to tell him that I already gave him the gil back for that game. He seems to be forgetful if someone has done him a favor in the past, and perhaps you will be kind enough to remind him that the shield that protected him in the Pharos was purchased with my gil.
Wishing you nothing but the best. Hope to hear from you again sooner rather than later.
P.S. You need only address me as "Judge Gabranth" on the exterior of the parchment. No one dares to read my mail, so please call me by my given name.
It was wonderful to hear from you so quickly. I am happy to hear about your successes in Archades. Balthier and I have been blessed with visitors here in Bervenia. He likes to complain and say that Vaan and Penelo are burdensome, but secretly, I think he considers himself an older brother to the two of them and truly cares for the children. But you must not let him know I told you that. He believes that if word escaped about his sentimental side, it would do damage to his "pirating reputation."
Though our treasure hunting expeditionary force (as Vaan calls it) has doubled, we continue to find no spoils. I do not believe my last letter mentioned the object of our search: it is the Cache of Glabados. Balthier and I heard about such a treasure years ago, but I have always considered it no more than pirate rumor and hearsay. My partner however is convinced that it exists, and that it is in Bervenia. Unfortunately, he is as stubborn as he is arrogant, and we haven't the slightest idea where to search.
In addition to not knowing about Balthier's gentler side, I would also ask that you keep the next thing I ask you between you and me: could you possibly check the Archadian archives for news about the Cache of Glabados? Balthier would never admit defeat in this matter, so it would be nice if I could "discover" some things about this cache. Let me know what you find.
P.S. In regards to your money problem with Balthier, I will no longer serve as the middleman. Please direct all complaints about that to the man himself. I tire of seeing him bicker at your words in my letters when he is perfectly capable of picking up a quill and writing by himself.
Your Cache of Glabados was no easy thing to find. But I have enclosed a small map that I "liberated" from the palace archives. Not a word of this to Lord Larsa, and I will be sure to not tell Balthier that I know he is at heart a kind and loving man. I believe that is a fair exchange. I cannot say I understand this map myself, having never been to Bervenia, but I am assured that you will be able to interpret the meaning of it.
Her Majesty's coronation is a fortnight hence, and Lord Larsa and I will be traveling to attend the ceremony and fete thereafter. Will you and Balthier be in attendance? The Princess misses you both terribly, and I would love an opportunity to get all of us back together for a little reunion of sorts. It would be wonderful to catch up on your exploits in Bervenia.
I have already written of this to Balthier, but he writes me back nothing but "I will not talk to you until I receive my payment, Captain." Does he conduct all his correspondence in this fashion? I know you requested to be no part of this little disagreement, but if you could please relay to him my insistent desire to settle our accounts at Her Majesty's coronation, I would be greatly appreciative.
My Dear Captain Ronsenburg,
You do not know how my Viera heart swells with desire for you. You may not be aware of this, but not only do Viera live longer than Humes, but we have greater sex drives as well. I long to see you at the Lady Ashe's coronation. I wish to take you on as my lover, for it has been some time since I have met a man such as yourself. I think of you nearly every day, and I clutch all of your letters in my hands while I sleep, willing your very words to come to me as a vision of you in my Viera dreams.
Mention not a word of this letter. I do not want Balthier or the children to know about my great longing for you. I cannot wait until we are together at the coronation, and I can finally see you once again. Do you not wish to get to know me better? I saw the way you used to look at me when we journeyed together…perhaps now your curiosity will be sated.
Again, not a word until we are together. I want you to know that it would really satisfy me if you wore your suit of armor the first time we are intimate. I wish to strip every metallic piece from your flesh before we consummate our love.
Your Loving Fran
I am terribly sorry I was unable to respond to your letter two weeks ago! Hopefully you will receive this before the coronation, but if not, I am sure we will have leave to speak then. I just wanted to thank you for your kind offering of the map of the cache. We will show you the treasures when we arrive in Rabanastre.
See you shortly.
P.S. Balthier has been acting strange lately. It is as if there is some joke I am not privy to, and I cannot figure it out. You two had best settle your dispute at the coronation.
I cannot express how truly sorry I am about my behavior at Her Majesty's fete. I will understand if you wish never to speak to me again. I misinterpreted a letter I thought to have received from you, and thus I took leave to be bold. You have my sincerest apologies for the forwardness of my actions. It was very unlike myself, but the letter I received was so…passionate, that I was struck dumb and was played for a fool. I only received your actual letter upon my return to Archades, the impostor letter arriving a week earlier and afflicting me with its lying, exaggerated impersonation of yourself.
I beg your forgiveness humbly as a true friend to you always.
Basch fon Ronsenburg
My dearest Captain,
Your latest letter troubles me. You know how I desire you, yet you do no more than attempt to dance with me? Why did you not try true seduction? When a Viera wishes to be consorted with, it is customary for her to appear confused and bewildered as I did at the Lady Ashe's coronation. I was not rebuffing your advances…far from it! I felt my very insides quake and tremble at your strong hands upon my flesh. This is no lie, Basch fon Ronsenburg, it is from my heart. Surely you feel the same for me. Quit the formalities…express your true feelings in your next letter. I will accept no less from you.
I must say that I feel like you are sending me mixed signals. You speak of some love you wish from me, but at Her Majesty's coronation you…well, you know how that went. My jaw still aches from the punch I received from you. But now your latest letter implies that this is a Viera means of seduction? I must say I know very little of your ways, but I am still very unsure of how I feel.
It was wonderful to catch up with you prior to our little disaster at the fete, but with our little tiff, I worry that we have sullied our friendship. I must admit that I do find myself thinking of you often, but I find it hard to express myself in this manner. It has been a long time since I have courted a lady. I would never wish to offend you.
P.S. I have been insistently writing Balthier in regards to our continued disagreement. It is unfortunate that we could not settle our affairs at the fete. Would it be possible to arrange a meeting? He will not respond, and it would be the greatest favor if you could perhaps intervene.
My sweet, loving Captain,
Why do you torture me so? You speak only of Balthier in a letter that should be filled with admissions of love for me. I bore my soul for you, and you cannot return the courtesy! Perhaps I will arrange for Balthier and myself to arrive in Archades a fortnight hence. From there, we will speak in private when you and he have come to terms.
I spend endless days here in the Strahl, tinkering with the engines, adjusting all the new parts we've added since we claimed the Cache of Glabados. But I think only of you and how I long to join myself with you.
I am sorry if my previous letter caused you offense. I wish only to do right by you. I must admit that the thought of seeing you alone brings me joy that I have not known for many years. Perhaps seeing you in person will confirm any suspicions I may have about your sincerity. I await you in Archades in one week's time.
You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I would never want to hurt what we have as friends. But if it is true what you say, then I would like to explore what could be. Let us discuss that in person.
I am not sure I am following your last letter. I am flattered by your compliments, but I am not sure what has brought them on. But I wanted to let you know about a suspicion I have had lately. I believe that Balthier has been reading the letters we send back and forth, but I have yet to confront him. Perhaps together we can discuss this matter with him in person. I hope this letter reaches you in time.
P.S. I wonder if this will even reach you. I worry that Balthier is doing more than just reading my mail, but I have no proof.
When we meet next week, I want you to greet me with a kiss. I do not care if Balthier sees. He's a stubborn man, but he is so handsome I cannot stay mad at him too long. So if you truly love me, you will kiss me at our meeting.
I long to have you in my bed. What whispers I still can hear of the Wood tell me that we will share passion heretofore unknown.
I dream of you at night and fear that I will burst with desire for you.
It's a promise. My lips shall grace yours just days from now. I am nervous as a groom before his wedding day, and 'tis not something I thought myself capable of feeling. Your insinuations about consummating this relationship…I must admit that they make me feel very happy. To think that we could…well, it is not appropriate to express in a letter. I will show you how it makes me feel very soon.
Thinking of our meeting.
I send this with the greatest urgency. Please, you are being tricked. Will you please pay Balthier his money? I think he is the one writing these manipulations! I urge you to cease this before you are embarrassed by your admissions to me.
I truly hope this reaches you in time. I am sending this without Balthier's knowledge.
Wishing for the best,
The Captain of My Heart,
I am wearing nothing at all as I write this letter. My ears are perky, and I've had a nibble of a carrot in anticipation of our meeting tomorrow. Your last letter has set me afire with longing for your muscular form and your strong hands. I wish they would caress every part of my body.
Do you long to be intimate with me? Perhaps we could arrange for Balthier to find an errand to run while we are in Archades so we can be alone on the Strahl?
I wish to again apologize for my behavior. I was under the impression that…well, I suppose I let my heart rule over my mind that day in Archades. I am truly sorry for the way I dared to touch you in that public square. And to Balthier, who is probably reading this, you are NEVER getting your money, you scoundrel. You will cease your foolish letter writing, or I will break more than your nose next time.
But to the matter at hand, I do not apologize for how things progressed as we realized Balthier's deception. It appears that he has been an unlikely matchmaker, so try as he did to embarrass us both for our previous collusion, you and I shall have the last laugh.
I cannot wait until you visit Archades again. But leave your partner at home. There are things I wish to show you that are not for that pirate's eyes.
I must admit that I was surprised at how things progressed at our meeting as well. It has been an incredible journey for us thus far, and I cannot wait for more. Until we are together again, I remain constant and steadfastly
P.S. Balthier will have to find a different way to extort you in future.