Gaffgarion observed the gate to Lionel castle with the practiced eye of one accustomed to countless long watches. The trap was set; all that he needed now was for his quarry to walk into it. He hadn't survived so many years of ceaseless warfare without learning when to fight fair and when to fight dirty – specifically, never and always, respectively.

The fact that Ramza and his unit had defeated him so many times galled the Fell Knight to no end. How the devil had the lad managed to convince him to part with his equipment and become a White Mage, just before the battle at Zeirchele Falls no less? The boy clearly knew much more than he let on. If he hadn't fallen for the ruse at Golgollada Gallows so readily, he would've sworn that the goody-two-shoes had uncanny powers of prescience. Still, third time's a charm and all that, and Gaffgarion was convinced that this battle would be the decisive one.

The furtive sound of stealthy footsteps alerted the knight to the arrival of his target. Possessing a keen sense of drama, he waited for just the right moment to reveal himself.

"Wait there," called Ramza to his allies. "I'll open the gate."

Perfect. "Rather let it remain shut!" Gaffgarion shouted, stepping out of hiding and boldly announcing his presence. He let loose with a shrill whistle, and on the other side of the wall a flurry of movement indicated that his troops had also made themselves known. He took great pleasure in seeing Ramza spin around to face him, his boyish eyes wide with surprise. "You made your way into the castle well enough," the graying warrior stated in a self-satisfied tone, "but you overlooked the ambush."

"We're surrounded!" the alarmed knight's apprentice cried out.

Chuckling, Gaffgarion drew his blood-red sword and pointed it at his youthful opponent. "It's you and I now, Ramza. Shall we be about it, then?"

Ramza tilted his head and gave the mercenary an odd look, then teleported away to rejoin his companions.

"Son of a bitch!" Gaffgarion swore vehemently. "I forgot he could do that!" Furious, he paced in circles while the battle raged on the other side of the wall, trying to figure out what to do next. "I suppose I could open the gate," he pondered out loud. "No, I'm sure my men have this well in hand." A feminine death cry interrupted his train of thought. "And women. I hope that was Agrias – I never liked that stuck-up, holier-than-thou Amazon. It wouldn't surprise me if putting on a little lipstick actually did kill her! Not that any man would ever be attracted to an over-muscled bodybuilder like her, anyway."

Finally acknowledging that he was wasting energy with all this pacing, the elderly knight took a seat in a corner of the battlefield and waited for the matter to resolve itself. A short time later, the squire teleported back inside the gate, looking a bit battered but none the worse for wear. Gaffgarion leapt to his feet and drew his sword in one smooth motion. "So," he yelled, adopting an attitude of wounded honor, "you've returned to finish our duel! I was sure you'd fled like a coward and left your friends to die! It's just you and I now...again!"

Ramza simply rolled his eyes at his opponent's empty bravado and depressed the lever that controlled the entryway. The gate creaked open to reveal the bodies of Gaffgarion's soldiers and the young man's still-standing companions. They all bore the signs of an extended battle, and looked worn, weary and supremely pissed off. Agrias in particular appeared to be almost shaking with barely suppressed rage.

It suddenly occurred to Gaffgarion that, even over the commotion of the conflict, the Holy Knight might have heard his comments. "Well...shit." Then things got ugly.