The First Grimoire: Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Chapter 15: "Family"
"Uuuuuh..." Cid let his head fall onto the wooden table with a thump. He had spent all night drinking it up in the tavern with Ribs and was now experiencing the aftermath. Pinching his brow, he slowly pulled himself up and leaned back on his chair.
The tavern was completely empty. All the patrons had either left before the morning or had been carted off by worried family members. In the end, only Cid was left lying on the counter in his own drink–induced slumber.
He glanced around the deserted tavern. Empty drink mugs and plates with unfinished food were strewn all around. The barman, probably gone to bed long before Cid woke up, was nowhere in sight. Feeling a little ashamed of himself, Cid pushed himself up and shook his head to try and catch his senses. A sudden noise behind him made him turn around.
"Oh, morning Cid!" Luso, carrying a large pile of clothes in his hands, came into the tavern through the front door, "Was this where you were all night?"
"Ur...gh..." The hung – over Revgaji covered his face with his hand, embarrassed to be seen in this state. Oblivious, Luso walked over to the nearest clean table and dropped his load on top of it. Cid watched the boy out of the corner of his eye. A single thought ran through his head,
What's with all these clothes? Cid picked up a single garment from the pile. His eyes narrowed as he identified it as a woman's pants. More specifically, Adelle's pants. Cid's blond eyebrow lifted a few centimeters as he tried to connect the dots.
"...Luso..." Cid said slowly, "why were you carrying that girl's clothes with you...?"
"To be honest," Luso slumped into a seat and closed his eyes, "I don't even know why."
Cid scratched his head and looked at Luso. The boy appeared to be exhausted, as if he had been staying up all night. His clothes were soaked, and his hands seem to be pruned from being submerged in water for an extended period of time.
"Did you stay up all night?" Cid asked in a concerned voice.
"Yeah..." Luso flopped down onto the table and buried his head inside his arms, "I'm tired. I was at that fountain washing these clothes all night, since Lynd disappeared halfway through and never came back."
"Lynd?" Cid rubbed his chin, "I saw him coming back to the inn yesterday night. He was carrying a sleeping Edyal on his back, if I remember correctly."
"Carrying...? Man, what happened yesterday night?"
Cid shrugged. His own memory was pretty slurred after ingesting a ridiculous amount of alcohol yesterday. Mentally, he made a note to never agree to drink with Ribs ever again. Seeqs can hold their liquor quite...no, extremely well.
Feeling a headache coming up, Cid pulled up a seat next to Luso, closed his eyes and leaned back. Luso lifted his head slightly and turned to face him,
"Aye, what is it kid?" Cid replied, opening his eyes to look at the boy.
"Do you believe that I'm really from another world?" Luso stated plainly. Cid opened one of his eyes and looked over at Luso. A grin cracked on his dark face.
"What's this now?" he said, slightly amused, "Where did this question pop up from?"
"Hey, it's not funny!" Luso caught the sneaky grin and crossed his arms, "I'm asking you a serious question here!"
"Ahahaha," Cid covered his face with his hand, "alright, then let me be serious for you then."
When he took his hand off, his grin had vanished. In it's place was a face that wouldn't be out of place in a funeral or a war. Sitting upright, he turned and glared straight at the young boy. Showing him his seriousness. Luso cringed slightly.
"I didn't mean that serious..." Cid's expression softened, and he broke into a series of small chuckles. Luso sighed in relief, Cid could be really scary if he wanted to.
"Hahaha..." Cid recomposed himself, he patted Luso on his brown–haired head and smiled gently, "There's no way I would distrust one of my own clan members, Luso."
"Huh," the clan leader leaned back on his chair, balancing on two legs, "Despite what you may think, an event like yours isn't all that unbelievable. This world is filled with mysterious and magickal occurrences." He took his thumb and pointed to his own chest, "When you're as old as I am, you simply stop disbelieving things or being surprised."
"You don't look very old though." Luso blurted out. Cid laughed and patted the boy on the back cheerfully.
"Ahaha, I'll take that as a compliment. Thanks Luso."
"Hehe." Luso looked up at the Revgaji and flashed him a wide smile, which Cid reciprocated.
"Come to think of it," Cid rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "didn't you buy a new sword yesterday? I noticed that you were carrying two on yourself while we were staking out the field."
"Oh yeah," instinctively, Luso reached behind his back to draw his new longsword. His eyes narrowed as he groped the air behind him, feeling nothing come into his grasp. He stood up and turned his head around to look at his back. There was his belt, but there were no swords. Not even the sheaths were present.
"Agh...!" Luso slapped the side of his head, "My swords! I left them back in my room yesterday!" He shot up from his chair, and looked up towards the stairs that lead up to the second floor bedrooms.
"Hmm...well then." Cid stood up and started towards the entrance of the pub, "you go and retrieve your swords, then meet me outside. Let's have a little training session in the fields afterwards, aye?"
"Okay!" The boy energetically saluted and tore up the stairs.
"That boy's enthusiasm is contagious," Cid mused to himself, rubbing his chin thoughtfully, "I feel as though I've suddenly become a few years younger."
Thud, thud, thud. Dull noises came from the wooden door as Luso pounded repeatedly against it. He was locked out of his own room, and the perpetrator was most likely still asleep. Luso ground his teeth frustratingly and called out through the door.
"Hey, cat!" He yelled, "open the door! I gotta get my stuff!"
Silence. Either Adelle really is asleep, or was ignoring him. Irritated, Luso aimed a kick at the door with is foot.
Predictably, he ended up hurting his toes against the tough wooden door. He leaned against the door with his back, his eyes watering slightly from the stinging pain. With his left hand, he grasped the doorknob and futilely tried to turn it. Giving up, he slid down the door and sat on the floor.
This is the worst... he closed his eyes and sighed, first I was forced out of my own room, then I had to clean her laundry, and now I'm losing my opportunity to learn more about fighting from Cid.
He threw his head back and yelled, his eyes still closed, "Thanks a lot, Adelle!"
"You're welcome. Though, I don't quite know what you're thanking me for."
Luso's eyes quickly snapped open. The door had suddenly opened wide, removing the thing that was supporting his back. He flopped backwards and into the door, clonking his noggin against the tough wooden floor. He cringed and clutched the back of his head for a few seconds before pulling himself back onto his feet. Adelle simply stood beside him, wearing a bemused expression on her face.
"Well, that is an interesting way to greet someone in the morning."
Luso pushed himself up and glared at Adelle, "I've got a bone to pick with youuuu..."
He trailed off.
"Well? What reason would you have to wake me out of bed this early, Luso?" Adelle replied quizzically, clutching her blankets tightly around her. The boy quickly covered his eyes with his hand and thrust his other hand in front of Adelle's face.
"C-can you please wear something first?" He stammered, averting his gaze away from her bare body. His face was glowing a luminescent red.
Amused, Adelle let a mischievous grin appear on her face. She deliberately circled around the boy and loosened her blankets slightly. "I would clothe myself..." She said teasingly, "...but the person cleaning it seems to have forgotten my clothes."
"...eh...?" Luso, still turning away from the nearly bare woman, "...oh, your clothes...um...they're lying downstairs...on the...tables..."
His mind was wiped completely blank. His feeble, teenager mind was futilely trying to comprehend the current situation. Adelle simply stood next to him, giving a sly smile while she took great pleasure in watching the boy squirm uncomfortably.
"Well then. Would you mind heading back down and delivering me my clothes? It is awfully drafty when all you're wearing is a thin blanket." Adelle gestured to her garb as she finished her request.
"Right...clothes...cold...drafty..." Luso spluttered as he turned around to head down the stairs again.
Adelle watched as the boy stumbled off the steps in his daze. She giggled to herself as she walked back into her room. She reached underneath the bed and pulled out a small chest. From inside, she extracted a set of clothes, identical to the outfit she was wearing yesterday.
After slipping on her clothes, she glanced over to the table beside the bed. Two swords were lying on the wooden surface, ostensibly owned by the boy who just nearly fell off the staircase. After a moment's silence, she picked up the two swords and carried them with her as she exited out into the hallway.
The silver haired girl smiled to herself.
It's time for breakfast, hmm?
The Dias Plains. A wide stretch of green grass and the occasional tree or two. A popular location for adventurers and city-dwellers alike. The cool shade given off by the trees on the plains make for prime napping spots. Narrow paths made of weathered stone and dirt criss-cross the landscape, directing travelers toward the city, or towards new destinations.
The drifter scratched his hooded head and let loose a sigh. He took out a roll of parchment and unfurled it. It was a nearly illegible map, looking as though it was drawn by one who had no clue what the word 'finesse' meant.
A crooked line stretched out from a small square labeled 'Camoa,' and snaked through little upright lines, topped with triangles – a forest, perhaps? Then the line continues towards another square, this time surrounded by little wavy lines – the ocean? Finally, the line goes through a series of triangles before finally terminating in a sloppy star symbol labeled 'Your destination here!"
To an uninformed person, this 'map' would look like something a child had drawn in two minutes.
"I can't make heads or tails of this stupid map." The hooded man grumbled as he turned the map upside down, "Which way is north?"
"If you're heading north, you might want to go that way."
The drifter spun around, hastily sticking the map back inside his cloak while drawing a sword at the same time. He pointed the short, silver blade at the Revgaji's face. Unfazed, Cid raised up his hands and stepped back.
"Who are you?" The drifter demanded, keeping his sword trained on him.
"Do you usually greet people with your sword?"
"Answer the question, Revgaji."
"The name's Cid. We've met briefly yesterday, don't you remember?"
"...huh, that's right. You're that Seeq's friend, aren't you?"
"Aye. Though I would rather you consider us acquaintances."
The drifter chuckled and sheathed his sword. His map flopped out of his cloak and fluttered down at Cid's feet. The Revgaji picked it up and examined it.
"Did your son draw this?" Cid handed it back over to the man, grinning a bit.
"Very funny." He took it back and shrugged, "The Seeq streetear drew it for me. Not too well, as you can see."
"Ribs was never one for finesse." Cid commented, "You're probably better off asking him for directions to the nearest pub rather than across the continent."
"Ahaha..." The drifter crossed his arms and tilted his head in agreement.
"So where are you heading off to, stranger?" Cid asked while pointing at the map in the man's hands, "I'm no cartographer, but I think I might be able to help you make heads or tails out of this."
"Much obliged." The drifter unfurled the map and handed it over to the Revgaji.
"You're going towards the mountains, I assume." Cid pointed to the little triangles on the left hand side of the map, "The Rupie Mountains."
"So that's what those are? I thought that was just another forest."
"Aye, but look here. These triangles have little lines protruding from their undersides," he jabbed a finger at the rows of trees, "the forest where this line is heading towards is probably the Zedlei Forest."
"The Zedlei Forest, huh?" The drifter swung his head around, scanning the landscape for any forests. Unfortunately, everything on the horizon consisted of nothing but flat, plain grass.
"It's not close to Camoa at all. Ribs is a terrible judge of distances." Cid raised his arm and pointed towards the fields behind them, "The closest city from Rupie is Graszton. That's the way you ought to be heading."
"...Graszton." The drifter hung his head and covered his face with his hand.
Cid raised an eyebrow at the man's reaction, "something wrong with Graszton?"
"Well...it wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't for the fact that I came from there."
"Ahh...my condolences then."
The drifter gave an exaggerated sigh and slumped his entire body forward. His hood fluttered in the wind as he made a pitiful pose. Cid patted his back sympathetically.
A few minutes later. A boy and a girl walked down the travel–worn road leading towards the Dias Plains. In his right hand, Luso carried both his longsword and his broadsword, clutching the two in a death grip in an attempt to keep them steady in his hand. His other hand was currently occupied with balancing a pile of boxes, each precariously stacked on top of each other.
His stamina was at his limits. Luso turned his head towards the girl and spoke in a pleading tone, "Adelle...I'm exhausted. Can you please carry some of your own boxes?"
Adelle shook her head and grinned mischievously, "Nope. Consider this your punishment for peeping in on a naked woman this morning."
"...you sure seemed calm then." Luso grumbled, his face flushing red again as the memory from this morning resurfaced within his head. He dropped his head onto the boxes in embarrassment. Adelle simply giggled and stretched out her body, basking in the rays of the morning sun.
"Say, can I ask you a question?" She said, arching her upper body backwards.
"Do you have any family?" Adelle asked casually, cradling the back of her head with her hands. Luso lifted his head up and glanced at her with narrow eyes.
"Why do you ask?" He shot back suspiciously. Adelle ignored his glare and looked up into the clouds.
"I'm just curious." She said, waving her hand as if she was waving aside his suspicion, "you claimed that you're from another world or something, right?"
"You didn't believe me when I told you," Luso pouted, "but yeah. I do have a family of sorts."
"'Of sorts?'" Her interest piqued, the girl stopped looking at the sky and looked at him, "What do you mean?"
"Well, I've been raised by my aunt for almost my entire life." Luso said, "I've never met my parents before."
"You've never met your parents?"
He nodded, "My aunt never talks about them. Every time I ask her, she would just change the subject or ignore me."
"Heeeh..." Adelle glanced questioningly at Luso's face, "and you never bothered to confront her about it?"
"Well, that thought did cross my mind a few times in the past, but I eventually just stopped caring." Luso replied, turning away from her face, "It wasn't really important to me. I was living well with my aunt and my life was happy. So I just stopped asking."
"Well, if it was me, I would've kept badgering your aunt until she gave me all the information." Adelle replied haughtily, crossing her arms behind her head, "I don't like it when people keep secrets from me, especially if the secrets pertain about me!"
Luso shook his head and said, "Then here's a question for you. What about your family?"
"My family?" Adelle grinned, "Aren't you the nosy one?"
"What? You asked me the same question!"
"It's rude to ask a lady about her personal life, you know." Adelle stuck out her tongue teasingly, "But if you must know, I hail from a normal family."
"Yes, a normal family. A father, a mother, a grandfather, and a slew of siblings."
"A slew of siblings? You mean you had a lot of brothers and sisters?" Luso asked, "Were you all really close?
"Something of that sort." Adelle replied, brushing her hair back, "We're all separated though. Each and every one of us left to seek out our own dreams and fortunes."
"Do you miss them?"
"Not particularly. We were all extremely independent."
A/N: Blugh. Between losing an entire year's worth of data on the computer, corrupting my FFTA2 save, and a crapton new games driving my attention away from writing...yeah, let's say I was incredibly distracted and frustrated for quite a while.
Hopefully, I'll update more frequently in the future.