Ashe recounts during the journey.

Balthier says that to relieve stress you must relax and see the humour of the situation. I have decided, with a great amount of dignity of course, that I shall for once follow his advice. After all, it is not as if anybody will stumble across this paper. They are all too restless at the prospect of scaling Ridorana Cataract, and the manse is so sprawling and stretched out that I doubt any of my companions could navigate through it to save their lives.

Which is why I plan to hide this in a larder somewhere. The servants will get enjoyment out of it, anyway. Oh, yes, and they could sell it as an official document of the Princess Ashe.

(Although that is a bit far-fetched.)

Things That I, the Princess Ashe, Have Noted Throughout This Journey:

1. Basch was Captain of the Dalmascan Knights and so I expect him of all people to dress properly. But he has a potholder. A potholder.

…a potholder.

Something must be done about this before it is too late.

2. Whether it is a Vieran way or not, Fran should look into battle armour that does actually involve armour and excludes things such as stilettos and metal thongs. My defence: Balthier and Basch become terribly distracted if they fight by her side during battle. Vaan is just too overwhelmed with the situation in general to notice anything outside his immediate peripheral vision.

3. Penelo is the most sane out of my companions, but not sane enough to drop the leather while trekking through the Ogir-Yensa sandsea. It is a desert. Surely she would have suffered dehydration a little? Or are princesses just not privy to surviving-in-desert-while-wearing-leather skills?

Balthier is also a master of this.

4. Speaking of Balthier, the multi-coloured rings are a little ridiculous.

5. Larsa is very sweet and will be a kind leader of Archades once his brother is overthrown, but I do wonder about the Solidors sometimes. It seems as though none of them look into haircuts.

6. The Judges look plaintively silly. Whoever designed their armour must have also not counted the fact that if they plan to wander around Rabanastre and Nalbina then they will probably be walking corpses by the end of the day. Apart from looking like robots, it is not very practical when they are taking over an arid region.

7. All my notes thus far have been centred on fashion (or lack thereof) so now I move unto a more puzzling conundrum. (The potholder was particularly scary, however). How does Balthier manage to damage Imperials when they are all dressed in steel? The others do aim for the areas where the armour meets, but Balthier pelts their armour with bullets and miraculously this kills them.

Is it just me, or is this confusing?

…Balthier is just one of those men.

8. Also, while it is very tragic that he is running from his past and his twisted power-corrupted father, it was not very nice of him to take my ring as payment. It was even less nice when he removed my travelling pack just as I was about to use it as a pillow. Sand is not a sufficient supplement (my hair was atrocious come morning, and I had to wash it in an oasis. Penelo did offer to help, but I still managed to look very un-Princess-like).

9. I did not appreciate Vaan's comment on my choice of attire at this point in time ("That's not a skirt, that's a belt, and don't you think fluorescent pink attracts more monsters?").

I did threaten to skewer him with my sword, although I do not think he was paying much attention. This generally happens when I attempt to make death threats (which is why Basch is travelling with me; he handles hacking at things and death threats. I handle looking the part––although, according to Vaan, that is a strange part).

10. Vaan seems to wear more metal than cloth.

I do wonder how he walks without squeaking.

…I wonder if he ever gets rusted. I do not think we have an oil can on hand.

11. I am still highly annoyed I had to learn to summon Belias, the weakest, and did not get offered any of the others. Balthier and Basch took most of them, which annoyed me more.

I really do not like the gender issues we have in our troupe, which seem to revolve around Vaan and Balthier's comments on my skirt and Fran's … lower half. (Although, in recent times, Penelo did giggle to me about how "Vaan was 'perving' on Fran, at chest level".)

I do not know what 'perving' means, although I have a general idea.

12. Vossler never once asked to go to a "house of ill repute" (not that he would, but he never went).

Balthier has done this several times, but just refers to them as "brothels".

13. Penelo has a strange obsession with a sort of meat that has tentacles. She calls it a Dalmascan delicacy. I have never heard of such a thing.

Being heir to the throne of Dalmasca, I find this slightly disconcerting (although my father concentrated on the political and geographical aspect of education).

The tentacles are frightening. Sometimes they ooze.

Vaan looks just as queasy as I do whenever Penelo manages to cook some of it from her rations, and Fran just looks at her as though she's grown a second head.

14. Although this might be because of her strict vegetarianism.

"I do not eat living things. They were alive, and were once capable of thought. I do not think they would appreciate being cooked and served as a gourmet dish."

15. Balthier always adds: "Well, Fran, I do think you're forgetting an important factor. They're dead. And it's not as if most animals were capable of particularly enlightening thought to begin with. Most of them try to eat you on sight."

As grudging as it is, I agree with him.

I do not have fond feelings towards the fiends we have been faced with, as most of them manage to ooze green goo unto my attire, and even more have decorated me a nice shade of crimson in battle.

16. Bangaa manage to walk around perfectly, even when they have patches across both their eyes.

17. Reddas invited himself along on our journey, when Balthier is the only one that really knows him.

This is not smart.

After all, this is the same Balthier that knew those Bangaa that chased us out of the mines in Bhujerba and kidnapped Penelo just because Balthier gave her a handkerchief. Their lack of intelligence makes me wonder why Balthier is so adamant at running away from them.

It might be their weapons.

Or maybe a pride issue.

Either way, Reddas is weird.

18. Vaan needs to look into a jacket, in the same way that Fran would do good investing in clothing that clothes.

19. I have the strangest feeling that Vaan looked up my skirt when I first jumped off the platform to escape from the guards in the sewers.

Maybe that is why Balthier was so disgusted when I attempted to be polite.

…although, I was disgusted when Balthier spoke for the first time. If he kept quiet, he would be a decent man, but alas that is impossible. I understand why Vaan got so frustrated with him.

They did meet under the circumstance of Balthier wanting to steal the magicite that Vaan had stolen (from me, in fact! I should be annoyed too! … well, technically it was Archadia he stole from, but still. My ex-palace) and Balther was responsible for getting Penelo captured.

…no, I still believe I am more justified here.

20. I am annoyingly bitter at times. Vaan is immature, Fran is scary, Balthier is chivalrous in a way which means he is the epitome of idiocy, Basch is kind but thick-headed sometimes and Penelo is insane for her clothing and befriending Vaan.

The bitter thing really does annoy me. It's un-Princess-like.

(The List of Un-Princess-Like Things so far:

My skirt
Me, in general

All of which I am guilty of. Especially the 'me' part.

At least I can be revolutionary. I do have the posh accent.

(Not of the annoying kind, like Balthier).

21. Giant turtles are overrated. The same goes for monsters that are more plant than monster.

22. The evil potholder must be killed. I will also look into removing chocobos from the army. It is just not threatening enough. Basch on a chocobo with a potholder.

Very intimidating.


…and that just about finishes it. Of course, it is nearing midnight and I am rather nervous and jumpy, so I may have forgotten a few things. It is not as if anybody is going to read this. My attempt at being humorous. I am not so used to it as a Princess.


All I can hope right now is that my humour (and all major organs and limbs) will still be intact when we complete this journey.

That is not too much to pray for, is it?

Only stopping a world-threatening war from happening.

My first attempt at writing Ashe, and I decided to do it in a humorous manner. I have no idea if it worked or not. Personally I'm just surprised I was able to write the whole thing without faltering. This is Ashe's own attempt at being humorous to relieve stress, so it's not random, so I think it's IC. I don't know. I would appreciate feedback. First FFXII story!