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Authors Note: Part 04 - Scene in Eagrose Castle, where Ramza and Delita see their sisters and Zalbaag - Please Review.


Sword in hand, a warrior clutches stone to breast

In sword etched he his fading memories

In stone, his tempered skill

By sword attested, by stole revealed

Their tale can now be told.

Slowly Ramza, Argath and Delita made their way amidst the gardens of Eagrose Castle. It was still as beautiful as ever Ramza noted, his mind flashing back to his and Alma's time together when they were younger. How they use to play carefree with their Mother watching over them but he jerked out of his thoughts when Argath stopped on the bridge and spoke.

"My own house was once respected as highly as House Beoulve, you know." His voice is rich with bitter anger, Ramza notes. "At least, until my grandfather was captured during the war. He turned traitor, thinking to buy his freedom with the lives of his friends. But his freedom scarce outlived his honor. He was not but a dozen paces out their gate when the dagger found his back. Killed by some common squire, no more a knight then I. One of the men he betrayed later escaped and spread word of his misdeeds. My lord father would have none of it, of course. But he was the only one. Our bannerman deserted us, our reputation ruined."

He bended down and picked up a pebble and then angrily threw it into the water, making some of it spill out, splashing but not quite touching them.

"I suppose," He starts again; "I had best remember my place. Your lord brother has no reason to lend ear to please from the likes of me." His voice still carries some resentment but the anger has fled his voice.

"Delita!" A feminine voice shouts from afar, stopping anyone from replying.

"Teitra!" Delita already recognized his sisters' voice.

"Alma!" Ramza shouted upon seeing his sister."Zalbaag!"

Hurriedly Ramza's brother and sister made their way towards them, followed closely by Tietra.

"Ramza," Alma's musical voice murmured softly. "You've come home!"

"It's been some time, hasn't it, Zalbaag?" Ramza greeted his older brother.

"I heard about Gariland." His brother replied as a greeting. His voice rough, "They say you made short work of those brigands. Now you're truly the right to call yourself a Beoulve. Father would be proud."

"Thank you, Lord Brother."

"Ha!" Teased Zalbaag, "You certainly haven't changed; Gods forbid you show a bit of cheer on being praised! And you, Delita! Do not think word of your deeds escapes our ears; your sister's been so full of pride I quite feared she might burst!

All at once all eyes trained on to Tietra.

"Worry not, my seams have held." She and Alma rolled theirs eyes at the lot them. "I'm glad to see you looking so well, Delita."

"And I you," Delita replied, "Have you settled in at school?" The concern was unmistakable in his voice.

"Yes, the others have all been quite kind to me." She replied hastily.

Finally unable to hold back Alma rushed to give Ramza a huge hug, practically smothering him. "I missed you." She whispered into his ear.

"And I missed you." He whispered back before returning her hug with force. A cough interrupted the siblings making them release each other abit reluctantly. Ramza draping his arm casually, around her neck.

"Would that we could speak at greater leisure," Zalbaag started a hint of apology in his voice "But there are duties that require my attendance. Rogues do not catch themselves."

Ramza nodded, "I understand. Good luck"

He turned to leave, waving. But stopped a few steps and spoke to Ramza. "We received a note of ransom from the Corpse Brigade."

"What!?" Argath demanded, speaking for the first time since they arrived.

Slowly Zalbaag turned around, "Something about it sits unwell with me." A touch of worry entered his rough voice, "They are anarchists to be sure, bent on bringing down the aristocracy. But they fancy themselves righteous, and prey only on the nobility and those in our employ. Would such as they truly kidnap the marquis for want of coin?

"Why wouldn't they?" Argath hissed, anger seeping into his voice. "They're naught but common footpads!"

Zalbaag chose to ignore him, "One of the men I planted among them has not returned. I worry he may be caught up in something serious, but there are those who do not think some mere spy worth a search party's efforts."

A hidden message, Ramza was sure. "Where was he last known to be?" Had to be sure.

"A merchant city named Dorter in eastern Gallione." He replied. "Guarding a castle grows dreadfully dull…Wouldn't you agree?" He leaves with that, a hidden message indeed.

Ramza watched his older brother leave contemplating this new bit of information. Argath prepares to follow his leave but with a different exit.

"Forgive us, Tietra." Delita apologized, "But it seems we must be leaving sooner then we had planned.

She shook her head, "Don't worry about me—just take care of yourself.

They shared a brief hug. "I will." Delita replied after they departed, "Mind your studies! I'll be back before you've even noticed I'm gone."

He quickly followed Argath, Tietra following to see him off, leaving Ramza and Alma bythemselves.

Alma turned her head to look up at her brother after they were alone, Eyes tinged with sorrow. "Tietra puts on a brave face, but the truth is not as honeyed as her words."

Puzzled Ramza asks, "What do you mean?"

"She has a hard time of it at school. The others tease her for being low-born."

Ramza waited for her to continue.

But instead his sister shook her head, ducking it shyly to the ground, her cheeks turning slightly pink. "Forgive me, I shouldn't have said anything. I'm sure you have worries enough of your own. Tietra will be all right. I'm here to look after her."

Gently Ramza cupped her cheeks between his hand, "Then there is naught to worry about. But mind your own limits. You can't be responsible for everything."

"Says the brother who never fails to do any and all that is expected of him," She teased before her voice took on a more serious note with concern evident. "Don't lose sight of yourself, Ramza. You needn't let your life be ruled by the fact you were born a Beoulve."

"Now you're starting to sound like Mother. Ha ha ha!" He joked. But it sounded lame even on his ears.

Quickly he removed his arm from her shoulder and pressed a chaste kiss to her lips before quickly departing, waving.

"Ramza…" Alma sighed sadly, watching her brothers retreating form, a sharp cool wind blowing her hair in all directions. Her lips still tingling from the barest of kisses he gave her.


Authors Note: Mostly cannon with a little bit of my own stuff added in. Please review and let me know if you see any mistakes or/and tell me how I did. I might make 1 of these for every Ramza/Alma scene in fft depending if anyone would read them.