Part 188: Tavern Banters (Part 2)
And now for the second half of the banters!
11. A Lesson in Swordplay (featuring Ophilia, Olberic, and Therion)
Well, each day I practice various sword strokes, and do exercises to build my strength. I always work on the fundamentals, for these are the foundations upon which all fighters must build.
...A wise choice.
What about you, Therion? Do you do any training?
Nope. Never was one for practice for practice's sake. For me, experience is the best teacher.
Didn't you hear what I just said?
(So he must train--and yet he claims otherwise. The question is, why?)
What's the expression? Two's company, and three's even better? Something like that...
... Fine, fine. But just this once, okay?
It's a deal!
Of course, we don't get to actually watch them train together. And it makes some sense Therion's not eager to share his trade secrets and all, though we'll get a bit more insight as to what kind of training he does in a later banter.
12. Strategy and Tactics (featuring Cyrus, Olberic, and Therion)
Are you talking about the recent battle? I was only doing my part.
Well, you damn near cast that one spell right on my head.
That is because you were standing where it needed casting.
Speaking of which... Olberic, I cannot help but notice that you seem fond of charging in headfirst.
'Tis how I do battle. I know no other way.
Then might I suggest you peruse a book or two on tactics. It is most vexing to have one's allies running willy-nilly into the path of one's spells.
I see. It is my duty is [sic] to stand at the van and stop the foe. If I fail to do this, then you do not have time to weave your magic. Magic we need, for there are some foes that can only be felled by your spells.
You are quite right. I am only effective for as long as you can protect me.
(Now that's more like it.)
Just so. Magic and thievery are subtler arts than that of the blade. Warriors are simple men, and favor the direct approach. Your ways are different--but no less formidable.
Well said, my friend! I have nothing but the deepest respect for your fighting skills. The both of you, that is.
Is something the matter, Therion?
You've been silent for some time now. If you have something to say, let us hear it.
A disagreement about battle tactics turns agreeable, except for Therion, who's as moody as ever. At the very least, there's good respect between Olberic and Cyrus and their respective fighting styles. I'm sure Therion has some (begrudging) respect as well. Probably...
13. A Business Proposal (featuring Tressa, Alfyn, and H'aanit)
This is Highlands chicken, right? It's been grilled to perfection! And this squid is the best to be found in Fisher's Bay. Can't you just taste the ocean?
Shucks, Tress. You might wanna think about slowin' down there...
Indeed. The girl is so slight. Where doth she putten it all?
Such is the life of a hunter.
When thou needest medicine, thou makest thine own. Yes?
But of course! I'm an apothecary, after all.
But I can't always find the ingredients I need. Until I hooked up with you, that is. You've fetched me darn near everything I've asked for!
I am a proud hunter. It pleaseth me not to failen.
Whoa! You gave me a start there, suddenly shoutin' out like that.
Thou hast "got it"? What hast thou "got," praye tell?
What dost thou meanen?
You can hunt for ingredients, Alfyn will mix them into medicine... And then I can take charge of selling the product. We'd make a perfect team!
A venture that wolde maken the most of our individual talents. Thou makest an intriguing proposal.
I know, right? We could really rake it in--so let's do it!
Er, can I think about this a bit?
And I as well...
What's there to think about? C'mon, you've got to grab the bull by its horns!
Thing is, I'm not wantin' for money...
I, too, possesse all that I need.
Poor Tressa, deciding to pitch a business venture to the two people who least care about money and material possessions. But then it's that kind of hustle that made her a billionaire to begin with.
14. Shall We Dance? (featuring Cyrus, Primrose, and H'aanit)
Indeed. The spirits are excellent, and all the better in the company of such lovely women.
That's not very professional, Professor.
It isn't? Oh, forgive me.
I coulde not imaginen dancing in front of anyone, let alone drunken strangers. Truth be told, I envye thy talent, and the joy that thou dost surely feelen.
I daresay Primrose brings a lot of joy to her audience as well. By the time she's taken a few steps, she has the entire room under her spell.
Heh... You have a way with words, Professor. Perhaps we could all dance together next time.
I feare it maye not comen to me easily...
Oh, it's simple enough. You just need to listen to the music and move in time with it. You don't have to be perfect or anything. Just enjoy yourself!
Dost thou truly believen so?
Well, I, for one, am game. Nothing ventured, as they say!
Heh, spendid! May I have this dance?
(Watching these two is like watching despair in motion.)
...What sayest thou, Primrose?
Hm? Or, er... Well...
I told thee, did I not...!?
These two are much too happy pumping out damage to bother with the Dancer's buff-centric moveset anyway. It's always nice to try new things, but sometimes those things are not for you. Ever.
15. Fashionable Medicine (featuring Ophilia, Tressa, and Alfyn)
What's the matter, Tressa?
Look at my skin, Ophilia! I've got this nasty boil... I guess I haven't been taking very good care of myself lately, but it sure isn't easy with all this traveling and fighting!
I know what you mean. My hair is all frazzled and frayed... But I suppose it's no use. Good nights of sleep and warm baths are a luxury on the road, after all.
Not that the men seem to care much.
Oh, look. It's the old medicine man.
Hey, who are you callin' old!?
Hehe. I'm just teasing, Alfyn! Anyway, what brings you here?
It seems he's brought us something.
You bet I have! Feast your eyes on this...
Rub it on any blotches, wrinkles, or boils and watch them fade away!
Why, it sounds like a miracle!
Wow, you really do have all sorts of treasures in that bag of yours!
Haha! It's just what I do.
So if I want some of this... How much would that cost me?
I wouldn't think of sellin' it to my friends. It's yours for free!
Aww, you're too kind!
Is there anything medicine can't cure in this world?
16. Animal Companions (featuring Tressa, Primrose, and H'aanit)
I must agree. Your snow leopard is absolutely beautiful.
Ah, thou speakest of Linde. A beautiful beast she is, but she is no pet. She is...my comrade.
Even better, no?
Indeed. She was gifted to me by a fortune-teller when I was but an infant. She hath always been at my side, and we haven grown up together. We knowen everything about each other. We haven no secrets.
You don't say?
Dost thou enjoyen the company of beasts, Tressa?
Squirrels are shy creatures, aren't they? Can they be tamed?
They sure can! Ours even helps out when we're buying supplies. She's got a nose for the ripest nuts and fruit, which we can turn around and sell for a big profit.
A little merchant squirrel! How adorable.
What about you, Primrose? Do you have pets?
No, I don't.
Hah, I can see that! You know how cats act like they want to be left alone, but then end up following you and sitting on your lap?
...Aye. I, too, can see a resemblance.
This whole thing is worth it just for Tressa's pet squirrel. Tressa's dig on Primrose is just a bonus.
17. A Drinking Contest (featuring Cyrus, Olberic, Alfyn, and Therion)
And we're all here, right on time.
...But I want everyone to know that drinks can be enjoyed all the same in complete silence.
Come, now. Where is the fun in that?
Giving up early, ain't you, Professor?
Indeed. You must forgive me, but I'd rather drink at my own pace, or not at all.
(Out, but not down, huh?)
(He's a man who likes to savor his drinks, it would appear.)
Thieves who can't hold their liquor aren't long for the business.
I, too, oft had need to drink in my younger days. Familiarity breeds resilience.
...Indeed. But there are limits. Practice and familiarity can only take you so far.
Well, I ain't done yet--another round!
...All right, I'm calling it quits.
Hahaha. You lily-livered milksop! I'm good for another cask!
I know when to cut my losses. But I've got to hand it to you: you're stronger than you look.
That's what they all say!
It's just you an' me then, Olberic!
Haha! Let the duel commence, my medicinal friend!
(He's been smilin' and relaxed like he's only on his third mug--what's it gonna take to knock him out!?)
(I haven't been pushed this far in a drinking game since my contest with Erhardt--a match that I lost.)
(I reckon the next glass will be his last, though...)
(Have I met my match once more...?)
Wh-what d'ya mean? I'm just getting' warmed up...
Tell that to the tavern master.
Aw, shucks. Well, if they ain't servin' no more, I guess we got no choice...
It appears Sir Olberic continues to be amused. Nevertheless, what do you gentlemen say to finding another tavern that's still serving?
Naturally, Alfyn's penchant for boozing and Olberic's warrior endurance keep them in until the end, though my money would've still been on Alfyn.
I wasn't kidding when I said at the beginning of the LP that Alfyn's probably an alcoholic.
18. Four Talents (featuring Cyrus, Primrose, Therion, and H'aanit)
She hath gone outside. Running about and chasing hares, I warrant.
Of course. She's so docile and obedient, I sometimes forget that she's still a wild creature.
Can we help you with something, Professor?
I find myself most fascinated by your ability to control beasts, H'aanit. If it were no trouble, I would like to ask you some questions, at some opportune time.
Of course. Truth be told, I am curious about all of thee, too. Primrose and her dancing, Cyrus and his studies... Therion's thievery...
Especially thee. I wondere how thy fingers became so dexterous.
Practice makes perfect.
Is that "practice," too?
So you train both hands to improve your dexterity...
Why so perplexed? It's not much different than you practicing your aim. Or Primrose practicing her dancing.
Just so. Primrose, thou dost leaven our company and hiden thyself away at times...
I hate spectators during practice.
You are dedicated to your art.
So what about you, Professor? Do you practice studying?
In my case, I develop my powers of deduction and insight by reading tomes and closely observing people.
That remindeth me. Earlier, Linde growled at thee in warning.
Was that a warning? ...I suppose I should apologize for what transpired earlier, then.
Oh? And what's that?
From morning to night?
It's no wonder the poor dear's wary of you.
This one is about the four "Rogue" characters talking about their various talents (i.e. their path actions). Naturally, they're all curious about each other's talents, even if Cyrus can go a bit overboard with his...
19. Four Personalities (featuring Ophilia, Tressa, Olberic, and Alfyn)
Hey, Tressa. Is something the matter? Looks like you've got a lot on your mind.
Well, there was a man sitting over there, right?
He seemed awfully cold, with that cloak wrapped so tightly around him.
Exactly! He was clinging onto that cloak for dear life. So I was just thinking...
Hoho. A riddle, is it?
Should he accept, he would naturally remove the cloak of his own choosing.
I suppose that's fine if you've got a big sword and don't mind getting into a fight...
Haha! She's right there! You can't go pushin' your weight around and bullyin' people to fight you all the time.
Then what would you do?
Share a mug of mead, tell a few jokes, then ask him to take off the cloak.
How very like you, Alfyn!
It's easy to get people to trust you when it's your job to cure them.
And you, Ophilia? How would you do it?
Me? Oh, well. Erm, I don't know...
Hahaha! Now, ain't that just like Ophilia?
I guess he'd be more willing to listen to a request from someone so considerate... You know, I'm learning a lot here.
You got that right! Except, that cloak happens to be a collector's piece. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't part with it willingly. But thanks to you, I know just what to do!
And this time we get the "Noble" characters discussing their path actions and how they'd deal with a particular situation. Of course, Tressa's ultimate solution would likely always work one way or the other, convoluted though it may be.
20. For Women's Ears Only (featuring Ophilia, Tressa, Primrose, and H'aanit)
Aye. 'Tis as if fate hath drawn us together.
I look forward to hearing everyone's stories.
As do I. Everyone, no matter how grand or humble, has their own story to tell.
Well, I always tell visitors to try our winter vegetable soup.
Ooh, that sounds delicious. I love vegetables!
It's probably good for your skin, too.
And just one sip will warm you right up.
How about you, H'aanit? What's the food back home like?
It is good. But in my village, there is an inn that serveth wild boar roasted over an open fire. Truth be told, it is the finest food I have ever tasted.
Roasted boar? Gosh...
R-romantic!? You mean like...
Sharing a delicious meal with a special someone? Right...?
I see I have a lot of explaining to do. It's like this...
Ooooooh... Primrose, you have to tell us more!
Yes, please! Impart us with your wisdom!
I, too, have some interest in what you knowest.
H'aanit, you first. What's your type?
Me? Well, er, I have not thought upon it, truth be told...
If such men exist, they must be ever so rare!
Thinkest thou so?
Oh, I wouldn't say rare, exactly. But...not common, either.
Oooh! I could listen to you talk about this all day, Primrose. You know everything!
Hehe. Thank you.
So, Ophilia? What kind of man do you like?
I was raised in the church, so I haven't had much opportunity to compare...
Aw, how sweet.
Oh, come on. Try to be more specific! Narrow it down a little.
Indeed. What dost thou desiren, in thine heart?
Desire!? Well, there's no room in my heart for such a thing...
There most certainly is! So tell us. We're waiting!
I want a man who's compassionate, caring, thoughtful, and upright. He has to be able to handle a sword, but also be clever. Like a scholar. Someone who's hard on himself, but forgiving of others. Oh, and taller than me, of course. And broad-minded and tolerant. And generally wonderful.
You see? I knew I shouldn't have told you... This is so embarrassing.
Ophilia, let me give you one piece of advice.
Ooooooh! How do you know so much, Primrose? It's amazing!
It all comes down to experience, ladies.
Gosh, I'm learning so much!
What? Oh, haha! You don't really want to hear about my type...do you?
W-well then, if you insist...
Primrose, hast thou advice?
Tressa... You need to forget about trading for a bit.
I'll take that lesson to heart!
As will I. We've learned so much from your experiences, Primrose!
Me? Well, that's easy. See, what I like in a man is...
It's been fun, ladies. Let's chat again soon.
Our final tavern banter is the most involved of all, and also one of the goofiest since it's Primrose playing to a captive audience and the women sharing their sometimes-bizarre preferences. Still worth it for Tressa's taste in men.
And that's all the tavern banters! Hope you all got a kick outta them! Next time we'll go back to side stories!