Part 55: Swift and Final Retribution
We re-join Frey in his room, still officially off the clock. As soon as we go up to the war room, that's going to change and we'll be given our next mission, but as usual, we have optional recruits to pick up before we do that.
Besides me and the Elder, I doubt any other beavers will use it. I hope Your Highness won't mind... It's just that there aren't many other beavers that can write human letters.
Maps from a hundred years ago clearly show that Stormfist and the Hershville Naval Base were Aethelbald domains.
That's interesting. (No, not really.) I think it's the first we hear of Hershville, but we won't be going there for a while.
The "Boss" my father saw was Genoh? What an odd turn of fate.
He's not a very good boss. We didn't get to fight him or anything.
Get a load of that letter she wrote! "My Prints"? "Strong liek yoo"? Did she even get her name right? Some people should just never ever pick up a pen.
...are you reading my mail?
No, scratch that, why are you reading my mail?
Your Highness seems reluctant to conduct trade, though it would be by far the best way to raise funds for the war. It may sound troublesome, even overwhelming, but it's really not all that difficult -- not with experience. I assure you, I have only the best of intentions. Why don't you give it a try?
I think this is spam.
He is indeed the one we captured, but we didn't know his story at the time. Your Highness has welcomed him into our army, and we certainly respect this decision.
"We think it's retarded, but we respect it."
That's all for the letters, but we still have things to read. After Rainwall falls, Taylor has a new issue of the Dawn Times ready for us.
The Dawn Times - Issue 5 posted:
Front Page - Rainwall Falls into Enemy Hands posted:Around the same time Beaver Lodge was attacked, the Godwin Army stormed into Rainwall and gained control with little resistance. But the townsfolk had little sympathy for Lord Barows, now knowing that he had secretly conspired with Armes to divide out beloved Falena. Some even say he deserved this defeat.
Back Page - Lyon Snaps at "Bandit Prince" posted:"The Dawn Times has learned that, upon capture of the "Bandit Prince," the Prince's bodyguard, Lyon -- known for her mild disposition -- openly unleashed her fury on Roy, the one who had been impersonating His Highness. Lyon apparently urged him in no uncertain terms to repent for his actions.
Rumor has it that this "talk" with Lyon is what persuaded Roy to give up his bandit ways. Allegedly, Lyon was sent over the edge after Roy persisted in addressing her as "sweetie" and calling His Royal Highness a "coward."
"The Dawn Times" attempted to reach both parties for interviews, but was rebuffed in both cases. "Please, don't ask me about that! I'm so embarrassed," Lyon said. Roy was less cordial, simply snorting and walking away, muttering what sounded like, "Crazy-ass reporter!" under his breath.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Salum Barows posted:This time, we examine the actions of Salum Barows, the unscrupulous head of the Barows family. When Rainwall collapsed, Lord Barows was forced to surrender to the Godwins, his long-standing enemies. The public, however, tired of his constant selfish maneuvering, has shown no sympathy.
After all, it was Lord Barows who pushed for Princess Falzrahm to ascend to the throne despite her being only second in line to the title, igniting the Falzrahm-Sharhrewar conflict. And it was Lord Barows who pushed dam construction forward, which planted the seeds for the Lordlake uprising.
Lord Barows even stole the Dawn Rune and allied with the New Armes Kingdom. Lord Barows' intentions were decent, as his goal was to maintain peace by preventing the rise of the hard-line Godwin faction. But he is a man who would sell Falena out to accomplish that goal, a true blight on our nation.
Can't say I feel much sympathy for Salum.
Sadly though, Lyon has no reaction to reading about it.
Now for the meat of the update.
Or the tofu if you're into that sort of thing.
We don't have much reason to go to Estrise right now, but we'll do so anyway.
And then we'll get jumped by muggers.
Vulgar Man: Yep, no money like easy money! Bwahaha!
Vicious Man: Hee hee! We're gonna get paid a whole heap of cash for bashing your skull in, kid!
Curiously specific muggers.
Frivolous Man: You've got yourself a rich and powerful enemy! Might as well let us crush your skull now, or there'll be worse to come!
The allies of justice appear!
Female Warrior: You should be ashamed of yourselves! Adults like you attacking a mere child?!
Who're you calling "mere"?
Frivolous Man: Whaaaat?!
Vulgar Man: Whoa!!! Hey, lovely, I like the outfit!
Vicious Man: Yeah, nice legs! Woo-wee!!!
Vulgar Man: She's askin' fer it! Oh, the lovely's askin' fer it!
Vicious Man: Forget the kid! Let's play with this broad!!!
Am I the only one who gets the feeling Euram hired redditors to kill me...?
You really are disgusting.
Have you something to add, Mathias?
Mathias: These imbecilic and brutish lowlifes dared to insult Lady Isabel.
Ha! Not so fast! These are the first evildoers we've run into since we came here. I called them first.
Very good, milady.
Vulgar Man: Butt out, tin can! This game is crowded enough with three guys! Heh heh heh!
Evildoers! All of you!
Frivolous Man: Huh?
Your faces are evil! Your minds are evil! Your words, your deeds, your hearts, all evil!
Vulgar Man: Hey... I think she's trying to insult us or something...
Your evil shall perish by my blade!
Vulgar Man: Oooh! The lovely likes it rough!
Vicious Man: Hee hee! Just the way I like it! And this time I get it for free!
Vulgar Man: Gah... This lovely can really fight... How embarrassing.
Ha! You call yourselves champions of evil? I've swatted flies that put up a better fight than that! Why even bother being evil if you're going to be so weak and pathetic?
Allow me to clean up, milady. Though it shall be a shame to befoul the sea with rank bodies such as theirs.
Vulgar Man: Eek!!!
Thug: Somebody save me!
(I don't know why he's called "thug" here.)
Ha! How unseemly!
Child! Are you all right?
I don't know about where you come from, but in Falena we frown on killstealing.
What do you think, Mathias?
I'm sorry, child. I can tell by your stance that you're no amateur yourself. I didn't wish to steal your fight, but I saw evil, and, well... Sometimes I can get a little carried away. Please forgive me.
Well since you're asking so nicely.
Let us go, Mathias!
Very good, milady.
As followers of the code of the Maximillian Knights, we have much work to do. We'll start off by dealing with that reprehensible fiend of a prince who rebelled against his own little sister!
Once that's done, we can head over to Babbage's shop and find it... slightly messier than the last time we saw it. Still can't recruit the man, though.
Then, it's back to the castle.
Hey! There he is! And we were just talking about--
Prince Frey! We weren't talking about anything important. Please, don't pay any attention to us.
Now I'm really curious!
Lady Luserina! Why are you trying to hide it?
Fortunately Boz is here to spill the beans whether she likes it or not.
This is serious business! His Highness oughtta know about it!
Oh... I suppose...
Truth is, Your Highness, Lady Luserina just got a letter from Master Euram.
He escaped from Rainwall and has gone into hiding in Haud Village.
Can't think of a better place for him to hide! No one in their right mind would go there willingly, and even if they did, he'd be pretty well camouflaged.
He "could not endeavor to ask the Prince to rescue him," but he has "most crucial intelligence about Godwin's strategy." Intelligence that he can only reveal, of course, in person to His Highness. He'd like you to come to Haud. With as few people as possible, so as to "keep things discreet."
Your Highness, what do you think?
I think the moment Euram started talking about "having intelligence" my bullshit-o-meter exploded in my pocket.
And now I have little shards of glass, metal and plastic embedded in my hip and it kinda hurts.
Say... You know, it does! You don't think Master Euram is trying to fool the Prince, do you?
Ooh, that little weasel! Of course he's trying to fool His Highness! My brother is a rotten, no-good, cowardly sneak! His letter is almost surely a trap! Please, Your Highness, don't fall for Euram's lies!
Please... I'm begging you...
"Don't listen to Euram's lies! Basch lives!"
Our next order of business, naturally, is to walk straight into Euram's trap and then walk all over him.
You can't be serious! You believe my brother's letter, and you're actually going to Haud Village?!
No, no, you don't understand how these things work.
I'm not sure how many people you can bring, but I'm not bringing anyone. Lyon should be plenty.
Please, you must reconsider! Have you already forgotten what my brother did in Sable?!
It's because of what he did in Sable that I need to make sure his plan fails in the most amusing manner possible! Come on, you don't actually think he's a threat, do you?
Please... Please don't go, Your Highness...
Have a little faith!
My arch-nemesis, Frey!
So! You call yourself the "leader of the Iodine in Hell Army" now! You can fool the people, but you can't fool the sun!
I think those two are a bad influence on him.
That's right! The sun, which protects Falena, has granted me two warriors with which I shall punish your evil deeds! I am speaking of two fearsome, dangerous, merciless warriors of the renowned Maximillian Knights!
Hey, hey, since when am I horrifically evil? That's going a bit far.
It's that child... So, you're the Prince.
You're the one who formed a rebellion and started a civil war to threaten your own baby sister's rightful crown! You used and abandoned your own dearest ally, Lord Barows! You are an evildoer of the highest evil! Your evil shall perish by my blade!
Yes! No! Wait! Wh-What!?
Relax. I'm not going to attack you, Your Highness.
Wh-Wh-What is the meaning of this?! This is the villainous Prince! "Perish his evil by your blade" and all that! Aren't the Maximillian Knights supposed to be sworn to an code of justice?!
What are you babbling about? I don't recall saying anything about "justice."
A knight doesn't bring justice, just more pain and violence. And what is evil, if not violence?
But what do you do when leaving evil alive leads to the rise of even greater evil? Even worse sorrow and pain?
You destroy that evil, even if you have to use the evil of violence to do so. And every time you draw your sword, you hope that you take from this world more evil than you bring into it. THAT is the code of the Maximillian Knights!
I'm putting you at notice. You, who so carelessly use the word "justice," have no idea what it truly means. Though you strike me as more of a misguided coward than a villain, your evil deeds must still be punished.
Your evil shall perish by my blade!
Did you truly expect that Lady Isabel would believe everything you say without first asking around? For the despicable crime of attempting to lead Lady Isabel into irredeemable evil... your punishment is death.
So be it, Mathias. You may do what you will.
VERY good, milady.
Grr... Come on out, all of you!
Let's go, child!
Don't have to tell me twice!
Euram's lackies are, shall we say, lacking.
And he runs away again.
Let him go.
Hmph. Very good, milady.
I wanted to see what you'd do to him, to get a measure of your character... But I guess I kind of jumped in there. I'm sorry. I saw evil afoot, and I just couldn't help myself.
But, what about you? You're fighting even worse evil than this coward, aren't you? How is it that you fell for such a pitiful trap? A champion of good has to be more careful than that! I may have to keep an eye on you.
You don't say!
Shall we fight evil together?
I was waiting for you to say that!
Therefore, according to the code of the Maximillian Knights, Mathias and I must fight alongside you. So, let our blades be joined in the eternal battle against evil!
Mathias! As of today, you and I are members of the Iodine in Hell Army!
This... This has been a good day.
During my days as a merchant, I conducted business with Beaver Lodge. Back then, Fuwalafuwalu's father was leader. What a fond memory.
That about wraps up the optional stuff for this time. There's new mail, though.
Thanks for your patronage at Mohsen Number Zero Armor Shop! We've given he customers what they want! Loads of new items in stock! Come on down to our store and see what we have to offer! Bring a friend!
Looks like they've figured out how to get around the spam filter.
This may be presumptuous of me, but I feel our army has some discipline problems. We need to be more strict!
When was the last time you contributed anything of value...?
Then, it's time to get our next assignment.
Georg! What is it?
Bad news, I'm afraid.
It seems the Godwins are going forward with Lym's "coronation ceremony."
Hmph! Putting her through the motions like that, as if she were their little dress-up doll! Well, not if I can help it!
Please, Lady Sialeeds, calm yourself.
I know how you must feel, but the ceremony will be held in Sol-Falena.
So?! Does that mean there's nothing we can do about it?!
If there were, we would already have reconquered Sol-Falena and ended this war.
The problem isn't the ceremony itself. The real issue is that many foreign dignities have been invited. Emissaries from the Island Nations, the Dukedom of Gaien, and Nagarea area coming. Even Armes is invited!
They want all foreign nations to recognize that the Godwins are the "rightful" rulers of Falena! I bet they're even scheming to form a few formal alliances...
We can't have any foreign nation allying with the Godwins. Especially not the Island Nations Federation.
Right. Ferid was from the Island Nations... Frey, it would be terrible if you ended up fighting against his homeland...
So there you have it, Prince. We must meet with the Island Nations' ambassador before he arrives in Falena. And I think it would be best if the Prince himself goes, so that they will see we have nothing but good intentions. What do you think, Your Highness?
I think I'm the goddamn Tenkai Star!
The word "impossible" is only in my vocabulary so I can apply it to things done by other people!
All right, we're counting on you, Your Highness.
The Island Nations' ambassador is Admiral Skald Egan. He is a good man. Reasonable, too. As long as you're honest, he'll listen.
It's been like 50 updates since then, but I mentioned back in the beginning how Ferid's full name was Ferid Egan. The relation is not clear at this point, but we can be fairly certain there is one.
In fact... I'll go with you.
Well, I've spent some time in the Island Nations before. I know my way around.
Also, I won't have the Godwins after my head there! It'll be nice to be able to walk around freely for a change!
Give my regards to Admiral Egan, Georg.
Oh, nothing. Just give him my regards.
Well, then, Your Highness, we're counting on you to make a good impression.
Ships traveling between Falena and the Island Nations usually stop at Nirva Island for rest and supplies! They island's about halfway along the route, so ships tend to stay about five to seven days! You've gotta make contact with Admiral Egan while his ship's still docked there, Prince!
I'll get the ship all set up, so don't you worry about a thing! Meet me in Estrise when you're ready, Prince! We're gonna get this done!
Well it is close to the Island Nations so I wouldn't get too excited. I hear they have some issues.
You ought to take a good look at your father's hometown. Roots are important. Remember that.
Do I look like a tree to you?
He despises injustice. I believe he will help us if we speak honestly with him.
You're heard of Estrise, haven't you? It lies far to the east of Rainwall.
I was just there! And here I thought you were omniscient and all.
Lym... is to become queen?
That's how it usually works, you know.
Hey, I've been on boats before!
I'm also handing over a new window set but argh my eyes. I'll stick with the blue.
You're not going.
Please give Admiral Egan my regards.
Why does everyone seem to know this guy...?
And, yes, I know. I've been bad about speaking with Egbert. I've just kind of assumed he'd just ask to play games again.
Then that means... that filthy Godwin DEVIL will officially become the COMMANDER OF THE QUEEN'S KNIGHTS?! INCONCEIVABLE! UNACCEPTABLE! THIS IS A GROTESQUE VIOLATION OF ALL THAT IS RIGHT AND JUST IN THIS WORLD!!!
I have been wrong, and I'm terribly sorry.
Just one last thing before we head out. Remember how some of Roy's bandits dropped paintings? I've been getting them appraised. This is "The Sacred Games - A painting of a gladiator in combat."
And this is "The Smile - A vivid painting of a smiling face."
I think I'll be keeping this.
I will exact swift and final retribution on this artwork and deposit its loathsome corpse into the bottom of the appropriate post.
Next up: the Goddamn Ocean.