Any beliefs expressed throughout my story are not my own. They are simply unique to the characters and their personalities. Just wish to clarify that.

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy or anything related to it. If I did, FF12 would already be getting a direct PS2 or PS3 sequel. I also don't own any other anime, manga, or game that I take elements or characters from.

"Blah" = talking

"Blah" = thoughts, writing, sound effects, or flashbacks

"BLAH"= Yelling

(Blah)= scene change


"You'll have to forgive us for that."

The Baron's sight traveled past his most immediate attacker toward the door where a Hume-like figure lay at the room's entrance, leaned against its doorframe. Eyes widened and his breath caught in his throat upon recognizing messy, dirty blonde hair and brown irises. "F-F….Fasullo?"

"Actually, the name is Ewen." He spoke through the dark facemask now wrapped around his mouth; words clear despite the distortion of the fabric. "This may come at an inconvenient time for you, but I'm afraid I'll have to resign as your bodyguard now. Prior commitments and all, you know."

The blonde's eyes darted to the Viera Assassin for a moment, then shifted back to him. She began to advance on the Baron, and Beltorey gritted his teeth as the man spoke once more.

"Please forgive us for that too. Timing's never been my forte."

A desperate situation!


Penelo

Shall we dance to the death?

Chapter 49: Night Without Melodies 3 (Wicked Waltz)


The sound of flowing water, together with the still darkness of the late hour, joined efforts to create a placating calm over the expansive garden area of the Beltorey Manse. Within the pleasant confines of the porch, a wide tiled area more akin to an outdoor hallway, those few guests seeking a reprieve from the stifling crowded dance hall just down the corridor opted to have sips at some of the complimentary imported wine and enjoy the view of the gardens.

It was from that dance hall entrance that Penelo strode with as much poise as she could muster, cutting her path down the walkway. Her steps were swift, their rhythmic tapping echoed by the lengthened heels of her navy blue shoes, the source of her less than perfectly graceful movement. Whatever thought had convinced her to wear them, she could not recall; a thought further trounced by her and her partner's intended heist and resultant need to make a hasty getaway should the venture run afoul. Whatever had gotten the guards so worked up was definitely going to impede said venture, somehow, some way.

Disregarding those thoughts for the moment, her pupils caught sight of a familiar white-haired Viera's form, the tall eared female leaning easily on the porch's stone railing, her visage quite perplexed. Penelo quickly joined her, donning a gracious smile. "Vili, right? Of Clan Gully?"

"Ah, yes." The Viera craned her head before returning to her previous position as the blonde reached her side. "You must be the friend of Hurdy's I've heard about. Pleased to meet your acquaintance."

"Likewise, and the name is Penelo. What are you doing out here by yourself?" The Sky Pirate took on a playfully malicious grin. "Last time I checked, you were being swept off your feet by that Hunter of yours."

The Viera struggled to hide her newfound embarrassment, and the blonde could swear she could see a tinge of red beneath the fur on her cheeks. "I simply desired a bit of fresh air. It was becoming noisy in the ballroom and Viera ears are quite sensitive. What of you?"

"The same." She replied after a concise pause. "If I may ask, did you see any guards move by here?"

"A few have, though…"

Vili immediately paused, eyes widened slightly and ears standing erect from her cropped hair. Penelo gave her a curious eye as the seconds passed, before finally she decided to break the silence. "Are you alright?"

"Did…Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"Over there." In response, the Assassin turned to her right, pointing down the remainder of the porch walkway. The blonde's eyes followed suit. "I can't be sure, but it sounds like something is coming."

Just moments after Vili had finished her explanation, the disjointed thumping of soles from down the walkway resounded through her ears, growing louder as time drew on. Gradually, others occupying the patio directed their attention in the same direction, the noise now loud enough for all to hear. Penelo noticed out of the corner of eye the battle stance Vili had unconsciously taken, and as her eyes returned forwards, she laid eyes on the sound's source.

A number of confused whispers began as a troop of four guards came into view, all either resting their weapon on their shoulder or dragging its edge along the ground. Penelo noted the lifeless quality of their strange, pink-colored eyes, completely devoid of human intelligence and replaced with an all consuming passion. Each ambled forward, gradually spreading out until the two figures at the rear of the disorderly formation could be seen.

The first, a round Seeq Lanista covered in winding, black tattoos, sauntered forward, a hefty, rusty Greatsword strapped to his back and his wide mouth playing at a grin. The second, a Bangaa Bishop, held a more dignified composure, walking with the same decorous air that was a common sight of the nobles. Penelo regarded each with a wary eye, unsure of exactly what was happening though certainly not receiving an affable feeling from the duo.

"Alright, ladies and gentlemen. This here's a hold up." The Seeq began with a bow, an apparent mockery of respect. "I'll have you spill your pockets on the ground…"

As he talked, the half dozen guardsmen had been constantly wandering forward, drawing near the other assembled guests who backed away in fear with each step advanced before finally retreating back down the porch. Penelo and Vili remained steadfast, the latter grabbing the attention of the portly sword bearer.

"Who are you?"

"Not escaping like the others, eh?" A malicious chuckle poured from his maw. "Just a couple of entrepreneurs, we are. Lookin' to cash in on some of the good Baron's good fortune."

Penelo's eyes darted between the guardsmen for a moment, keeping note of their respective locations while reserving an ear in the conversation. There was clearly more to the Seeq's response than just a simple robbery. She knew, from experience more than rational thought no thanks to Vaan, that a frontal assault in any theft was dangerous at best. At length, she looked back towards the two primary intruders.

"You've caught me at a bad time, gentlemen." Keeping her eyes on them, Penelo slowly leaned her torso forward and gripped the hem of her knee length dress between her fingers. Vili's demeanor switched back and forth between confusion and embarrassment as the blonde raised it, gradually revealing slender thighs and the two shell-like objects wrapped by a tight cloth around the left one.

A rapid clacking sound like driving rain filled the air, causing even the absentminded guardsman to shift their heads to its source. Penelo's arms flowed about her as she turned, heels tapping on the ground in perfect sync with the noises emanating from the black castanets clench in her fingers. All watched on, wonder more common than confusion, until she finally ended in flourish, eyes locked on the Seeq and Bangaa across from her. "I'm afraid my pockets are dry."

"Well, then…that's alright…" The Lanista watched her carefully for a moment, then grinned. Vili's and Penelo's eyes met for a moment, each silently agreeing to an understood partnership. The Seeq's right hand found its way to the handle, and his Greatsword came out with the same steely rasp as his words.

"There are plenty of other things we could spill."

…..

"It's hard to put in words …." Adelle forcefully moved Luso's body so that his face was directed towards the room's grand staircase, then released her grasp of his midsection, turning to face the same direction. "Up the stairs. Something is definitely happening up there."

The boy's eyes traveled upwards towards the beginning of the hallway, suddenly flinching as the settled on their target. Whether it was simply some sort of intuition or the Mist Channeling heightening his senses, he could somewhat feel understand she was getting at. He realized his feeling, however, was nowhere as sure as hers, upon further inspection of her face after turning back towards her. To him, it was almost as if she could physically see something amiss, and the concerned look upon her face kept him from doubting her any longer.

"Greetings, my beautiful flower..." Near silent footsteps accompanied the man's melodic voice and the duo turned with clearly opposite reactions towards a certain approaching Rozzarian prince, his handmaiden close in tow and both outfitted in mostly black evening wear. Al-Cid Margrace cast a cursory glance to Luso, finishing his sentence. "Oh…and boy."

"Nice to see you too, Al-Cid." Adelle and Luso responded simultaneously, the former throwing off her worry with a gracious curtsy, the latter adopting annoyed disdain.

"By any chance, have your enchanting eyes taken sight of Baron Beltorey recently?" The silver haired girl complied, raising a hand as the Rozzarian knelt down to kiss it. "I have yet to find him myself."

"I was with him a few minutes ago." Luso admitted, scanning the room for the man's form. "He must have left the room."

"Truly unfortunate." His eyes angled downward and a hand rose to his chin after finishing Adelle's welcoming gesture. "A stunning lily I met a few moments ago wished to have a word with him before the night drew to a close, but it seems I may have to wait until a more favorable instance."

Luso opened his mouth to speak when suddenly the double doors on the other side of the hall swung open and three guards stomped in, the one at the center clearly more powerful than the two at his side and all covered in small scars and drops of blood. All eyes became fixated on them and whispers began to generate, not quite sure what to make of the forceful entry, which preceded his booming voice echoing off the walls.

"Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention." He and his underlings moved in a straight path, drawing towards the room's center. Those dancing within the reserved space halted as they loomed closer. "We've been informed by our perimeter guards that the mansion is currently under siege by a number of thieves."

Gasps erupted, followed closely by open statements of fear and confusion which grew louder as the seconds passed. Amidst the growing panic, Luso sent Adelle a cursory glance, wordlessly inquiring whether the revelation had anything to do with her premonitions. She caught his face's silent query within moments, but could only respond with a concerned shrug.

"Please, I urge you all to remain calm." The center guardsman advised, trying to placate the masses. He nodded to the guard on the left who returned the gesture before making his way over to the wall just to the right of the room's grand staircase. He reached up to one of the reachable sconces, then tugged. Immediately a rectangular section of the wall eased open like a doorway, tearing the covering wallpaper and spewing a small cloud of dust, its interior a pitch black save for the lit candle fastened just on the corridor's interior. "Thankfully, the Baron has taken precaution in creating escape routes in all major rooms of the manse. If everyone would form a single file line and follow the man near that door, we can assure you safe passage. In addition, I would like anyone with combat experience to come to me."

At that, people began moving, unsure whispers abounding but otherwise muffled by the shuffling of feet. Luso and Adelle gave each other another glance, then began towards the head guardsman. They were admittedly surprised to see Al-Cid and his maid walking alongside them, though upon further thought it made sense for royalty to have at least some sort of self-defense experience.

The quartet arrived at their destination near the same time as Ensei, Hurdy, Kanin, and Cheney, who he had expected would take up the guardsman's request. All exchanged quick glances, still somewhat unsure of exactly what was happening, before the guardsman began to quickly study each of them.

"Everyone except the Rozzarian is from Clan Gully." Ensei said, responding to the man's curious eyebrow. "Don't worry about us. We can handle ourselves just fine."

The clan's name seemed to bring a bit of reprieve to the guardsman's otherwise troubled visage. "Gully from the St. Galleria incident, huh? Good to know we've got some capable people."

"Who exactly are we dealing with, commander?" Cheney inquired.

"We're not sure yet." He gestured to the remaining guard behind him along with the one forming the evacuee line, which had by now begun to take proper form. "We engaged what we believe to be the perpetrators in the garden, but my platoon was quickly overwhelmed. We escaped to guide the guests to a safe place. Who knows the kind of international incident we could have if the wrong person was killed."

Kanin took this time to stand beside the commander and place her hands on his left arm, her palms radiating a white aura. "Overwhelmed? How many are there?"

"Two. Maybe three."

"Three?" Adelle reiterated in confusion. "That must be a pretty small platoon you have to get overrun by three people."

"Those three aren't the main problem. Our men are." As expected, confused demeanors followed, and the commander set about to explain. "They've got a ranged attacker hitting us from somewhere, and he's skilled. His bullets are enchanting my men to attack each other."

"Now it's making sense; though I can tell you now that our enemies aren't simple thieves." Ensei said. "What they're doing now is textbook diversion. I'm willing to bet there are others, maybe even somewhere in the manse."

The commander placed a hand to his chin, just as Kanin finished her minor treatment of his arm. "Not good. I don't want a hostage situation happening in the event that you're right. We'll need a few of you to stay with the escape party, just in case."

"Leave that to me. Cheney, take Kanin and Luso and stick with the nobles. We don't have any weapons, so I'm hoping your blue magic and Luso's aura will be enough to protect them." All three nodded, Luso silently wishing he could have been assigned a more exciting job. "Adelle, you and Hurdy are with me. I'll need your eyes to pick out that sniper. Hopefully your music will be able to nullify the enchantments, Hurdy. I'd like to avoid direct fighting when possible."

Just after the girl nodded and the Moogle released a signature 'kupo', the commander took on a weak smile. "Thank you all."

"Wait, what about Baron Beltorey?" Luso queried aloud. "I'm pretty sure he's not with the other nobles."

"It is not my normal behavior to check upon another man, though I suppose desperate times call for unsavory measures." Al-Cid responded after a momentary silence, shrugging his shoulders and breathing out a sigh. "I shall search for him."

"Alright, then everyone knows what to do." Sharp nods followed the commander's statement, and he turned towards Ensei. "There should be a guard supply closet on our way. Not much left in it, but we may be able to find some weapons for you." He gave one last glance over the assembled members, then called out. "I wish you all the best of luck. Move out!"

….

The moment the Seeq's Greatsword fully escaped the sheath on his back, Vili was already in motion, her body lowered to improve her center of gravity and to streamline her lithe form. The speed of her forward charge was unlike any Penelo had seen for quite a long time, and her hopes of serving as a suitable support were effectively diminished as the Viera plowed shoulder first into the foremost guard.

Penelo watched the two males near the back. The Bishop remained firmly rooted in his position behind the Seeq, his legs spread apart and a whispered chant beginning to escape his maw. To her, the man's vertically-held staff and semi-bowed head hinted at some sort of religious gesture.

Before she'd have time to analyze it, though, two guards were already upon her from opposite directions, a Hume with a bladed polearm and another with a shortsword. She clicked her heeled shoes against the ground, waited, then made a sharp sidestep just as the polearm came down, cracking the tile beneath it. In the same motion, she leaned backwards, the second Hume's sword missing her nose by a hair's breadth. Her continued lean evolved into a backwards cartwheel, knuckles supplying balance while closed palms kept hold of her castanets. She followed through with precision, foot coming up in a swift blow under the Hume's chin before swinging around into a stable stand. The former sword-wielder fell onto his back, unconscious and out of the fight.

The latter Hume had by then hefted his polearm once more and began swinging movements at the blonde. Her dodges were swift and small, full of flourishes that seasoned dancers loved to parade about, and as his overhead swing planted the polearm's blade into the floor again, she slammed her heel overtop it, locking it in place. She whipped her other leg around, delivering a sound kick at the Hume's side and sending him careening into the porch railing.

At the same time, the Lanista bolted forth towards Vili, who had just successfully avoided an overhead chop from the last remaining guardsman and performed a chop of her own at his neck. It was quickly becoming clear to her as his body fell limp to the ground that the guard's overall form and senses must have been dulled by whatever was controlling them. Dexterity and quickness of judgment was lacking in both their swings and movements, as well as conscious fortitude; a problem that, if evidenced the delightfully malicious smirk adorning his face, her Seeq adversary intended to correct.

His slash was more efficient, more clean cut, and she had additional difficulty ducking after having become habituated to the slowed activity of the guards. A quick step forward followed suit, placing her body up inside his now open right flank, a position she intended to take full advantage of.

"Rockseal."

Her glowing, right arm shot out with an almost untraceable flicker, fingers pointed and corresponding muscles tensed just enough to pierce wrist deep into his rotund abdomen. Simultaneously, a sizeable, fleshy area around the puncture site flashed into hard stone, jagged at the edges with pieces breaking off as he violently rotated around to shake her off. A backstep put her out of the way of immediate harm, and her head whipped around at Penelo's call.

"Vili! The Bishop!"

Eyes confirmed the sight of the Bangaa seemingly nearing the end of his silent chant. The Assassin wasted not a millisecond, and before the sky pirate could register it, she had already burst forth with unimaginable speed, the Seeq she had neglected to finish off making a burdensome slash at the space her body just occupied.

Her arm was glowing as she skidded to a halt just feet in front of the Bishop, and she rotated her waist to improve the piercing power of her hand.

Time seemed to slow down at that moment for her, and she could have sworn that as her fingers lanced forward, the robe-clad Bangaa smirked. Then suddenly, just before her hand would have struck him, it crashed into something different, some sort of invisible ward positioned near two feet from his body, stopping her dead in her tracks. The petrifying magic in Vili's arm flooded into the dome like force field, which shifted from imperceptible to a visible transparency upon contact, and grinded against it, neither it nor the barrier giving way. Magical energy leaped from the collision site like sparks before finally, Vili's body stopped moving forward.

As her grasp of the situation formed, she realized that her arm up to just under her elbow had managed to lance through the shield and large, spider web-esque cracks surrounded the area of impact. She also noticed that her attack had missed the Bishop by little under a foot. Smirking even wider than before, he let loose a soft whisper.

"Water."

Vili's trained reflexes kicked in, and she viciously yanked her arm back, though the Bangaa's spell was already on her at that point. Water from every surrounding, the small fountains just beyond the porch railing to the vapor hanging in the air, rushed in with thunderous force, encircling the female and forming a floating orb of water large enough to completely submerge her form.

Disheartened, Penelo watched from afar as Vili, caught off guard by the spell, released bubbles from her mouth, flailing around for a moment before settling down. By then, the Bishop had already finished a second prayer. A translucent barrier much like the cracked one currently shielding him sealed the water orb from the rest of the battle.

"Hrah! The Viera fell right into our trap." The Seeq's horrendous laugh sounded out, the wince on his face as he stalked towards the captured Viera indicative of the slowly returning sensation of pain around his abdomen. Upon reaching her, he spun back around to face Penelo. "Direct fighters like her always try to take out the mage in the back, but that's where Null's Barrier spells come into play."

"It's nothing to laugh at, Dazzle." The Bangaa stated with heavy breaths while dropping to a knee, visibly exhausted from the successive spells he had cast. "She pierced that far through the barrier on brute strength. I was almost petrified."

"Tch, it's not so bad."

"Not all of us have a layer of fat to protect us. If she'd had time to prepare her incantation, you'd be covered in stone."

The Lanista known as Dazzle paused at that, caught off guard, and with a huff turned back to Penelo, swinging the flat of his Greatsword back onto his shoulder. "Your comrade has about four to five minutes before she drowns to death, Hume. Surrender and we won't hurt you too badly."

The sky pirate remained hesitant at that, assessing the situation mentally. Her eyes traveled over to her restrained ally. Unlike most, Vili was completely calm and remained as still as possible, no doubt aware of keeping her oxygen use as low as needed. Not only that, just as she had witnessed moments ago, the female's arm was glowing. Penelo averted her eyes quickly after taking note, not wanting to draw their attention towards her.

"Won't hurt us too badly? That's very kind of you." Dazzle unconsciously brought his sword up in front of him as the blonde simultaneously clicked her heels against the ground in rhythm with the snapping of her castanets. A more serious look graced the girl's face. "You had to go and threaten my acquaintance, though, so I can't say I'll do the same."

Both the Bishop and the Lanista could only watch the next few seconds in a mixture of wonderment and confusion. Penelo's body eased into motion, spinning at varying speeds with the lightness of a feather and the slow movements of drawing through still water. She was perfectly cadenced; it was almost as if she was dancing to a song they couldn't hear. As she shifted into her final action, a one-legged pirouette, a peculiar yellowish glow began to envelop her and the Bishop felt a strange tingling feeling on his rough skin.

That sensation picked up along with the speed of her successive twirls. He couldn't quite pinpoint what was happening, though the closest speculation was that something was escaping from him. As far as he knew, his body felt fine, and he doubted the Viera would have been able to afflict him with anything after she pierced his barrier. Panic growing, he scanned around and laid eyes on the horror right next to him.

The transparent barrier that surrounded Vili's watery prison was dissolving, bits both large and small dispersing away into the air above it. Water poured in small rivulets and steady streams from wherever pockets in the force field had opened up. His vision locked on the figure in the center, and at that moment his mind fired off movement commands.

The Viera lunged forward, magic-enhanced arm perforating the weakened barrier with ease and hand catching the back of the Bishop's neck the moment he began his escape. Her fingers gripped down hard, and the man released strained grunts, his dropped staff clattering on the growing pool on the floor. The Seeq spun around and could only watch in fright as hoary stone began to replace dusty brown skin.

"Assassins' skill set is centered on eliminating your target without making a sound." Vili's voice and eyes were icy as she spoke, accompanied only by the crackling of her petrification spell and the sound of water pouring from the eroding barrier. "The members of my clan were trained to be able to charge our techniques with or without incantations, though with admittedly takes less time."

The Bangaa's maw opened like he was about to respond, but instead a drawn out breath escaped his throat and Vili's petrify spell finished its course, leaving naught but a kneeling statue in its wake. Water and sweat soaked the Viera's body and dress as she retracted her hand and fully exited the now mostly dissipated barrier. Three Rockseal techniques, Penelo noted, had to have taken their toll on her.

"What…What did you do…?" The blonde brought her attention to the Lanista, and she couldn't tell whether his body was shaking from fear or anger. "There's no way Null's barrier would fall on its own. You did something. Tell me what you did."

She sighed, then spoke evenly. "The casting of spells and utilization of Mist is not limited to words. Through my dancing, I'm able to weave Mist into debilitating my enemies. That particular dance was named Witch Hunt, which allows me to pull away the Mist surrounding my opponent."

"Without that steady supply, Null's barrier began to crumble." The Lanista put the pieces together. "I see."

"Who are you and who are you working for? You've got five seconds." The Seeq didn't turn around at her questions, but he already knew the Viera was building up her strength for a final Rockseal shot. Instead of answering or even retaliating, he dropped his rusty Greatsword and slowly lifted his thick arms into the air. A satisfied grin crossed his face.

"You won this battle, but don't go thinking this is the end of it. Once they find out about this, they'll come after you. You and everyone associated with you, and they'll kill every single one of-"

Every muscle in the Lanista's body tensed up at once and a thin layer of hardened stone spread out over his form much faster than it had over the Bishop. After completely enveloping him, Vili yanked her hand from the right side of his back, then made a labored walk around him towards Penelo, eyeing the resulting statue's content visage before dropping to a knee in exhaustion.

The Dancer trotted over to her and held out a hand, which the Viera graciously took. "You made the right choice. He wasn't going to spill anything. Whoever he works for…either they're really good to their members, or they know how to instill fear."

"Yeah…" The Assassin bent down for a moment to catch her breath. That fourth Rockseal had really winded her. "That technique you used. Those dance movements; I feel as though I've seen them before."

"Well combat dancing was originally a Viera practice. Many of my moves are from the Tradmine Viera over Ordalia way." She replied with a small giggle, placing Vili's arm over her shoulder and allowing the white haired female to use her as ballast. "Let's go. We have to warn the others."

The room was silent as the Assassin stalked towards Baron Beltorey, steps making not a sound against the floor. He could tell by that and the way which she carried herself that she knew what she was doing, and that should he act, he'd have no chance of making it past her, let alone the blonde behind her. Instead, he opened his mouth, hoping to get some information with a mixture of anger mixed in his voice.

"How long…."

"The entire year." Ewen responded, immediately grasping his question. The Assassin halted her forward walk, allowing them to continue. "I was originally sent to keep an eye on you for surveillance sake, though time has run short on our end, and I've been forced to act. Do not hold the notion that I was perhaps blackmailed into this. This outcome was set in stone from the beginning."

"Forced to act by whom? I'm a Coronet member, so I fail to remember everyone that's after my head." Beltorey took a subtle step backwards. "Are you working for Reighlard?"

"I'm not obliged to reveal that information, though I can assure you we have few if any connections with that man." What should have made Beltorey feel more reprieved actually caused his worry to grow, only compounded by the man's next sentence. "We have no need for ties with those weaker than ourselves."

"Why tonight?" The Baron queried. "Why not earlier? There were plenty of instances when we were left alone, where you could have easily gotten what you wanted."

"Easily gotten what I wanted? I wonder about that." Ewen regarded him with raised eyebrow, then stepped forward to begin pacing around the room, hands nestled in pockets. "Surely a year would be plenty of time to win over an employer's trust, but you're a careful man, Beltorey. Very careful. I suppose that's how you've strengthened your empire to this extent. As the days rolled on, your trust in me never grew, and I knew that force would be inevitable. Tonight provided the perfect opportunity. With these legions of esteemed and wealthy individuals frolicking about, no one would give a second glance if a few thieves were to attempt a robbery."

"And no one would think suspiciously about the Baron's chief bodyguard isolating him." Ewen's small smirk was enough for him to confirm his reasoning. "Your plans are quite thorough. So what is it that you've spent so much time and effort on?"

The blonde paused, then craned his head towards Beltorey. "We want what's in that safe."

"Wait, you…." The raven haired man's eyes widened in response, and his tone became breathless. "Don't tell me you're going to…."

"Looks like it was a wise decision to follow you after all."

Ewen, Beltorey, and the Viera Assassin tensed at the smooth male voice, and all three's heads snapped around to its source. There, leaned against the doorpost that Ewen previously occupied, stood a tanned skin young man with sandy blonde hair, both eyes and visage holding an unamused quality. The Viera wondered how the boy had even managed to enter the room undetected, and as he moved forward she realized that just like her, his steps lacked sound.

Vaan's right hand unbuttoned the upper portion of his collared shirt and retrieved two daggers from within before dexterously twirling them in his hands.

"I'll help you out for now, Beltorey, though keep in mind that my services don't come cheap."

Vaan comes to the Baron's aid!


(End Chapter Forty Nine)

Character Corner

(Penelo)

Job: Dancer

Race: Hume

Hair Color: Blonde

Eye Color: Blue

Skin/Fur Color: Tan

Likes: Dancing, Music

Dislikes: War, Impulsiveness

(Description)

Vaan's steadfast partner, Penelo sometimes gently - but more often severely - keeps him from staying too far off course. Already a famed sky pirate, she is also fast gaining renown as a skillful dancer.

"I've known him all my life, after all. There isn't a thing he can get past me."

Penelo, responding to Ensei's question about Vaan.

(Trivia)

-Just like with Vaan, this Penelo is the same from FFTA2. Considering I did not play Revenant Wings (though I am aware of some of its events thanks to the FFwiki), I'll do my best to keep her somewhat in character.

-I took free liberties with interpreting Penelo's job mechanics in the story. I envisioned her dancing to be a melee/mage hybrid. Other things, such as weaving Mist instead using it normally like other spellcasters, is a nod to the game mechanics, since none of her skills in-game require MP.


(Author's Notes)

And there's the end of forty nine. Sorry to leave you on another cliffy. If I'm not mistaken, this leg of the arc will be wrapped up next chapter (a milestone for the story).

As for some non-important tidbits, with the Bishop's water spell, I took reference from FFTA where the animation enveloped the target in a ball of water. In FFTA2, it was merely a shockwave of water that hits the opponent. Spell users in the story will be able to use both versions at will, as water is free-forming anyway.

Until next time!