Wiegraf and Ramza stared each other down from across the room, their troops arrayed behind them and ready for battle. Supported by an elite team of knights, archers and a black mage, he regarded the young squire's motley crew contemptuously. Milleuda, you will soon be avenged, the knight captain vowed silently, and these vaults will be your slayer's grave. Drawing his sword, he addressed his opponent with barely concealed hatred. "You've no hope of victory in this fight, cur. I will put you down like the dog you are!"
Ramza remained cool and confident, infuriating the Knight Templar. He glanced behind Wiegraf and took in the composition of his squad, raising an eyebrow in response. "I see you have an all-female crew again," he commented dryly.
"What of it?" Wiegraf snarled. "Do not make the mistake of thinking less of them because they are women! They are some of the finest warriors in the Church's ranks!" His band responded to their leader's earnest defense by brandishing their weapons and striving to appear as fierce and intimidating as possible.
"Oh, I have no doubt," the blond warrior replied calmly. "It's just that this time, I came prepared to deal with your…tendencies." Before Wiegraf could ask what he meant by that, Ramza made a small gesture.
One of his number stepped out from behind him, revealing an extraordinarily handsome man clad in a green and white outfit that clung to his muscular form in all the right ways, topped off with a stylish feathered cap. He pulled off his chapeau in a graceful motion, releasing waves of silky brown locks that seemed to shimmer in the light. A rakish grin slowly spread across his perfectly bronzed visage, highlighting his soulful brown eyes. Wiegraf's ladies all sighed in unison, but quickly got control of themselves and returned to scowling, if less fiercely than before.
"Meet Horse," said Ramza with a sly smirk, "my new secret weapon."
"Preposterous!" the White Knight snorted. "It's a plain as day that he's no fighter!"
"Oh, he doesn't need to be," the young nobleman chuckled. "Watch and learn, Wiegraf ol' boy."
Horse swept his gaze over Wiegraf's unit, causing each woman to melt a little in turn, before focusing his attention on one of the knights. "Hey baby," he said in a smooth, seductive tone, "what do you say you and me get some drinks after you get off work?"
The knight blushed and twirled her hair demurely. "I don't know about that," she answered with an inviting smile, pointedly ignoring the jealous looks her companions were giving her. "My job is to kill you, after all."
"No worries, sugar," Horse reassured her in his rich baritone. "If you help us kill all your friends, I promise I'll show you the night of your life."
The other women looked aghast at this proposition, but the knight just giggled and glanced away. "Well, it's tempting, but..." She paused for a moment, then looked confused. "Say, why do they call you Horse, anyway?"
The man's grin broadened. "Why do you think they call me Horse?" he purred.
The knight's eyes grew wide as his meaning sunk in. "Oh wow!" she exclaimed. "I'm sold!"
"You can't betray the Church for a man, Claudia!" cried the horrified archer standing next to her.
"You don't know how long it's been since I've been with a well-equipped man, Elynor!" the knight proclaimed desperately, taking up her sword and shield again. "We both know Master Wiegraf doesn't count!"
"Hey!" shouted Wiegraf, his face turning red from both rage and embarrassment.
"Get ahold of yourself, you crazy bitch!" snapped the archer, who promptly slapped the knight as hard as she could.
The knight reeled back from the blow, covering her reddened cheek with her hand. "I'm so sorry," she whimpered timidly as she came back to her senses. "I don't know what came over me!"
The archer gave her a sour look, but said nothing.
Horse shook his head in disappointment, his gorgeous mane flowing in captivating waves. "Come on, babycakes, you can't give up on what you want so easily." His smile turned risqué. "Ever hear of the Lionel Lunge?" he asked suggestively, making an accompanying provocative gesture.
The knight's eyes glazed over with lust, and leapt on the surprised archer with berserk strength. The other women struggled to pull the two of them apart, eventually managing to bludgeon the knight into unconsciousness. They stood over her in silence for a long moment, panting from the exertion, while the archer sat on the floor looking shell shocked.
Horse tossed his tresses back and laughed, catching the women's attention. "Say," he told the archer with a devastatingly sexy wink, "you're pretty hot."
The archer bounced to her feet and swiftly adopted a coy pose. "Really?" she gasped.
Wiegraf felt the blood drain from his face, only nominally aware of Ramza's unsuppressed glee at the proceedings. It was going to be a short and thoroughly unpleasant battle.